Adrienne Adams clinches victory in Council Speaker’s race

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (left) and Councilmember Adrienne Adams.
Office of Council Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

District Council (DC) 37, the largest municipal union in New York City, said on Friday that Council Member Adrienne Adams clinched victory in the race for City Council Speaker, as 33 members of the 51-member City Council committed their support or released statements backing her Speaker candidacy.

The broad support for Council Member Adams from legislative leaders across the five boroughs comes on the heels of a coalition of labor unions, including 32BJ SEIU, DC 37, CWA District 1 and NYSNA declaring their support for her campaign for Speaker. 

DC 37 said Adams will lead a history-making City Council, with a majority of women serving on the Council for the first time. 

“An inclusive and diverse coalition, with members from across the city and across the political spectrum, is supporting Adrienne Adams,” said DC 37 in a statement, adding that Adams will assume the office on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the first Stated Meeting in the next session of the City Council.

“I am honored to have earned the support and the trust of my colleagues to be their Speaker,” said Adams, who represents Council District 28 in Southeast Queens (Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village and South Ozone Park). “Our coalition reflects the best of our city. 

“We are ready to come together to solve the enormous challenges we face in order to not just recover from COVID but to build a better, fairer city that works for everyone,” she added. “I want to thank the Council members, labor and party leaders, women’s groups, and everyone in our broad coalition for their support. 

“The City Council will be a collaborative and effective legislative body that incorporates what makes New York City great and focuses on the needs of our communities,” continued Adams, who was first elected to represent Council District 28 in November 2017. 

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said she fully supports Adams as Speaker of the City Council. 

“Adrienne Adams has the support needed to become NYC Council speaker, and I am proud to stand with her,” Bichotte Hermelyn, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life. 

“With the most diverse council yet, a qualified woman of color is the best choice to lead us toward an equitable recovery,” she added. “Adams will get the job done.”

A lifelong resident of Southeast Queens and longtime community activist, Adams has been “a leader for public safety, education equity and economic development,” said DC 37.

“Her ascension to the Speakership is the culmination of decades of public service and community organizing,” it said. 

Adams has previously served as a Community Board member and chairperson, a member of the Community District Council and the NAACP, among other community and advocacy groups.

Adams was raised in Hollis, Queens; attended St. Pascal Baylon Elementary School and Bayside High School; and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College. 

At the time of her 2017 run for City Council, Adams was in her third term as chairperson of Community Board 12, Queens – the second largest Community Board in the borough. 

Professionally, she is a corporate trainer who has worked in Human Capital Management at several Fortune 500 corporations, specializing in Executive Training and Telecommunications Management. 

After minoring in Early Childhood Development, Adams also worked as a Child Development Associate Instructor, training child care professionals to meet the requisite goals to obtain the CDA (Child Development Associate) credential in accordance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Code of Ethics.

As past Education Chairperson of Community Board 12, Adams was the Board’s primary advocate for education equity of children within Queens School Districts 27, 28 and 29.

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