“That opening has become increasingly broader,” Ana María Archila, co-director of the Working Families Party of New York, said in an interview. “At the beginning of October, our thinking was: this is still a headline, strong and popular enough. But the last few weeks have shown that not only is this mayor not strong or popular, but he might not be mayor for his entire term.”
This week’s Quinnipiac University poll showed Adams’ job approval rating at a historically abysmal 28 percent following revelations from a federal investigation into whether Adams’ campaign colluded with foreign interests. Adams has not been charged in the probe.
The mayor is weakened at a time when the left-leaning Working Families Party is reorganizing. under new leaders Archila and Jasmine Gripper.
And any challenge from the left would seek to undermine a mayor who called himself the new “face of the Democratic Party” by winning the elections in 2021: a criticism of the progressive movement that never supported it but did not know how to stop its rise. Adams said last February: “The numerical minority has appropriated the term progressive.”
The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday also found that an overwhelming majority of city voters (more than eight in 10) are concerned about the budget cuts Adams proposed to the NYPD, public libraries, city-funded kindergarten and other municipal services to offset the cost of supporting immigrants.
And affordable housing, according to the survey, is a top concern along with crime.
While Adams, a former NYPD captain, has tried to prioritize fighting crime during his tenure, left-wing critics like Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán they have condemned him due to rising costs in the expensive city.
“One thing that is very clear is that the mayor is living in the conditions he created,” Gripper, of the Working Families Party, said in an interview. “He promoted a narrative of high crime when the figures did not demonstrate it. And now he is trying to convince New Yorkers that crime is low and they don’t believe him, because he created a narrative that promoted a lot of fear.”
In fact, the City Council cited those statistics when questioning the validity of the figures from the renowned electoral institution Quinnipiac.
“Incorrect surveys come out every day, but the real numbers cannot be questioned: crime is down, jobs are up, and we continue to put billions of dollars into the pockets of workers,” Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy said in a statement.
Adams, who was in Washington on Thursday to call for more federal aid for the immigration crisis, pointed the finger at President Joe Biden’s administration. Adams and Biden’s once warm relationship is now in a freezer As the mayor maintains, the White House has left the city to handle the surge of immigrants on its own.
“It’s clear you can see the poll numbers,” Adams told reporters at the Capitol. “Our national government has taken its toll on New York City. New Yorkers are angry. “I have joined that anger.”
The mayor’s representatives criticized a press release Thursday with 11 statements of support from politicians, union and business leaders and the president of the New York State Conference of the NAACP.
“As our economy continues to rebuild and jobs are restored, Mayor Adams is the labor champion our union members and working families across New York City elected him to be,” said Rich Maroko, president of the Hotel Trade Council. and Games of Chance, in a statement.
But Adams’ liberal critics want him squarely to be blamed for the reduction in city services as they rally to confront him.
“This is the time for us to start fine-tuning our message, to be very strict with our message,” Councilwoman Carmen De La Rosa said in an interview. “And I think that message is that these cuts are not only, in our opinion, going to be devastating [but] It is also unnecessary to cut public education so deeply in New York City.”
The council’s Progressive Caucus, long a target of Adams’ ire, has scheduled an oversight hearing for Monday that will question his approach to municipal services. Councilwoman Shahana Hanif said she plans to show exactly where and how the funds can be restored.
The renewed pressure from the left comes with recognition that the movement, which grew with the election of former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013 and again in 2018 with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump’s surprise victory has lost its way.
In 2021, the establishment left was divided between three mayoral candidates, diluting its power and helping Adams achieve victory with his multiracial working-class support.
Progressives now say they have learned the lesson from that race.
“We saw that the left was very divided and disorganized, and the Working Families Party will not allow that scenario to repeat itself,” Gripper said.
While the Working Families Party focuses on the 2024 House elections, the much smaller Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club has been recruiting for a challenger to Adams in 2025, an effort its leader says will has intensified recently.
“We’re talking to more people,” said progressive activist Allen Roskoff, “people who hadn’t really considered running before.”
He introduced former City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso as potential candidates.
Left-wing strategist Camille Rivera said ensuring a truly united front must be the first step in confronting Adams.
“We will see a mobilization of organizations, community groups and the party that rejects the mayor,” he said, adding that the ideal candidate would know that “you never have to choose between cutting public schools and housing the homeless.”