There may also be battles over education. Mr. de Blasio recently vowed to begin phasing out the gifted program in the city’s schools, which puts children on different academic tracks and has been criticized for exacerbating segregation. The issue inspires passions among parents.
Mr. Adams has indicated that he wants to keep and expand access to the program, while also creating more opportunities for students who have learning disabilities, as he did. Mr. Adams, who speaks often about his own struggles with a learning disability, is a proponent of universal screening for dyslexia.
More immediately, he faces the task of filling out his government.
Throughout the campaign, Mr. Adams faced significant questions from Mr. Sliwa — and the news media — over matters of transparency, residency and his own financial dealings. The people he hires for his administration will play a significant role in setting the tone on issues of ethics and competence.
Asked what he was looking for in the powerful position of first deputy mayor, Mr. Adams said on Tuesday that his “No. 1 criteria” was “emotional intelligence.”
“If you don’t understand going through Covid, losing your home, living in a shelter, maybe losing your job, going through a health care crisis, if you don’t empathize with that person, you will never give them the services that they need,” he said.
For some voters who went to the polls on Tuesday, it was Mr. Adams’s own life experience that compelled them to turn out.
Mark Godfrey, a 65-year-old Black man, said Mr. Adams’s rise showed that “there are subtle changes that are occurring in the U.S.” related to racial equity and representation.
“He’s been on both sides,” Mr. Godfrey said of Mr. Adams’s experiences with law enforcement. “He’s been a survivor, and he’s been part of the change.”
Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Fandos, Nicole Hong, Jeffery C. Mays, Julianne McShane and James Thomas.