On June 12, activists gathered outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall to rally against Eric Adams, the former state senator and current Brooklyn Borough President pursuing the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor. The action was called and organized by Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP), and attended by the Crown Heights Tenants Union and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
This action against Adams was part of MTOPP’s Save Associated Supermarket campaign, a community initiative to prevent commercial developer Midwood Investment and Development from evicting the only affordable grocery store in the majority Black and Brown Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights from its current location to make way for a luxury housing complex. In March, Associated’s owner Pablo Espinal received a notice from Midwood to close the grocery and vacate the building within 30 days. Espinal has so far refused the eviction and continued to operate the supermarket, which has been met by a lawsuit from Midwood.
Organizers linked the struggle to save the supermarket to the fight against Adams’s Democratic nomination by highlighting the sheer amount of money he has accepted from the real estate lobby throughout his political career. Adams has not only received over $283,000 in campaign contributions from developers during this mayoral race alone, but a recent report found that between 2015 and 2019 he accepted at least $322,750 from developers and lobbyists. The funds were either sent as political contributions or toward his nonprofit One Brooklyn Fund.
“Eric Adams takes more developer money than any candidate in the race,” explained MTOP’s Alicia Boyd. “[He] has served four terms as state senator and two terms as Brooklyn [Borough] President. We have suffered shameful pollution in and around the notorious Gowanus [area] and Newtown Creek. … He should be raising hell about it. Instead, he’s collecting checks from the developers, who make the problem worse! Eric Adams routinely stacks community boards with pro-development cronies — those who disagree face not being reappointed.”
After the rally, the crowd marched through the farmer’s market in front of Borough Hall then down Court Street in downtown Brooklyn, chanting “No Eric Adams!”, “Shame, Eric, shame!” and “Eric Adams is not a mayor, he’s a borough betrayer!” The march stopped at a Trader Joe’s to hand out flyers to pedestrians, before marching back and concluding at Borough Hall.