Queens Council member Adrienne Adams celebrates victory in Speaker run

Adrienne Adams
Councilmember Adrienne Adams celebrates her likely victory to be the next Council Speaker during a virtual rally Sunday, Dec. 19.

Queens Councilmember Adrienne Adams celebrated her all-but-guaranteed victory to be the next Council Speaker Sunday during a Zoom conference with fellow members of the city’s legislative body.

“There’s a new day on us everybody, it’s a new day. By the time we’re done, I believe New York will be a stronger, fairer, and safer place for everyone,” Adams said during the Dec. 19 virtual rally.

Adams declared victory Friday saying she secured support from 32 fellow City Council members for the internal vote in January, she would take over as the first Black woman to lead the Council, the second-most powerful post in the city.

She overcame several challengers in the race that was largely fought behind closed doors, with her most notable competition coming from fellow Queens Council Member Francisco Moya who was pushed by incoming Mayor Eric Adams.

Almost-Speaker Adams will replace outgoing Speaker and Manhattan Council Member Corey Johnson, and she vowed that the 51-member body will act as a balance of power for Mayor-to-be Adams come January.

“We will work with the new mayor, but also serve as a check on the other side of City Hall,” she said.

Adams has represented southeast Queens neighborhoods since 2018 and said her priorities are curbing the city’s surge in gun violence, expand affordable housing, and ensure a fair recovery from the pandemic as the Five Boroughs face down another surge with the Omicron variant.

“No New Yorker can be left behind at this moment and we will fight every single day to make sure that that does not happen,” she said.

After her introduction, several of her former contenders in the speaker’s race joined to congratulate her.

“I’m here to make sure that I can give you my full support and continue to work together on the issues that we care about,” said Moya. “We have a lot to do and the race is over and I think one of the main things is for us to continue to really look at the issues that we care about and how we can get all this done to make you the strong speaker that we know that you are.”

The City Council will also have its first-ever female majority, and Council Member Diana Ayala, who represents uptown and South Bronx neighborhoods and also once vied for the speakership, called the moment historic.

“We knew six months ago, a year ago, we’ve been talking about the need for the next speaker to be a woman,” Ayala said. “We’re witnessing history here because, not only are we getting what we wanted, but we’re also getting our first African-American, female speaker and this is history that we’re living through.”