By Naeisha Rose
Community Board 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams is runnng for the City Council seat to be vacated by Ruben Wills, who was convicted of corruption last month.
As a possible council member in District 28, she wants to make a difference in the southeast Queens locality with the legislative power the office affords. The former councilman will automatically lose his seat after being found guilty of grand larceny for stealing over $30,000 in taxpayer’s money for personal use when he is sentenced this week. He is facing up to seven years in prison.
Hours before rushing off to a DOT Town Hall July 28, Adams entered the race as a Democrat to represent Rochdale Village, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park.
Adams is the chairwoman of the second largest community board in Queens, which covers downtown Jamaica, and wants to bring her five years of experience as a public representative to District 28.
For Adams, speaking on behalf of her constituents on the parliamentary level is a personal endeavor.
“I’m running because I have a tremendous love for my community,” Adams said. “I’ve lived in the district for almost 28 years now.”
As a longtime resident of the area, she knows what plagues it and wants to have the opportunity to solve those issues.
“I have watched the progression of the district – some of it good and some of it not so good,” Adams said. “I’ve been chairperson of Community Board 12 since 2012, and I’ve worked hand-in-hand with city agencies and with our elected officials. I have a bird’s eye view of the City Council and other aspects of the political arena.”
If elected, one of her main priorities would be getting guns off the street.
“As of late, we have seen shootings coming out of nowhere, really across the entire city, and we need to take a closer look at getting the guns off the street,” Adams said. “We have to crack the code of getting guns off the street and giving our youth a viable alternative to the things that they are doing.” Another concern is the overdevelopment of homeless shelters in downtown Jamaica and the lack of community inclusion in budgetary funds.
“Our district hosts an overwhelming percentage of the homeless shelters in the entire borough of Queens. That is a problem and we need to have more affordable housing.”
As the only candidate for the Council from Jamaica NOW, an economic development group, she would pressure developers to build inexpensive homes in Jamaica, but she doesn’t want to stop there. She wants to assist the community in getting a say in how money is allocated there.
“Participatory budgeting is something that the community takes a part in, and District 28 has not had the benefit of inclusion like other districts,” Adams said.“Community participation helps to make sure the money goes where the need lies, like schools and certain healthcare facilities. This includes the community in the legislative process.”
She wants to tackle the unlawful parking of trucks and illegal dumping of garbage near resident’s properties. The chairwoman also wants better transportation for the region.
“There is a need to help the NYPD getting illegally parked trucks off the street,” Adams said. “These 18-wheelers are taking up three and four parking spaces on any given block. There is a lack of resources when it comes to tow trucks. We also have an illegal dumping problem and I think that surveillance cameras will be a great thing to get these repeat offenders and penalize them with proof.”
As chairwoman she has partnered with Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) on a lot of problems in the area.
“The term transportation desert is a true expression,” she said. “We truly have limited resources. Transportation will be among one of my first priorities.”
If elected as a councilwoman, she would have the authority to create laws to solve those issues, which is something she could not do on the community board.
“Legislation is the key to making our community better,” Adams said.
There are several other candidates in the race whose status will be clarified later this week.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose