Adams: Give kids hobbies, not guns

Photo by Stefano Giovannini

We sat down with Borough President Adams this month to chat about two of his personal crusades — reducing gun violence and preventing traffic fatalities, not drinking soy lattes and finding the perfect pair of skinny jeans — though his reaction to Lana Del Rey’s “Brooklyn Baby” did come up in the conversation.

Bill Egbert: June is Gun Violence Awareness Month in the city, and preventing gun violence has been a cause you’ve championed throughout your career. What are you doing at Borough Hall to further that cause?

Eric Adams: What our focus has been this month is alternatives. Our children will always have something in their hands — but what will it be? Will it be the cool metal of a band instrument? Or the cold steel of a handgun? We’ve been promoting activities like bands and team sports to show our children the alternatives of what they can be a part of instead of gun violence.

I’ve been meeting recently with youth band leaders and coaches to find ways to improve outreach and boost participation in those activities. Coaches especially can be important father figures to keep young men on the right track.

I’m also trying to involve more youth in the process of addressing gun violence. Too often we find ourselves in the position of dictating solutions to them, instead of sitting down and listening to them.

BE: Earlier this month you came out strongly in favor of a 20-mile-per-hour “Slow Zone” in Bedford-Stuyvesant, encouraging Community Board 3 to reverse its opposition. Are there other areas in the borough that you think need lower speed limits?

EA: I think Linden Boulevard in East New York needs a Slow Zone — and Atlantic Avenue, Cross Bay Boulevard, there are a lot of areas where cars are just racing around and endangering people.

BE: MTV News recently asked your opinion of Lana Del Rey’s song “Brooklyn Baby” and quoted you as saying, “The next time I’m shopping for skinny jeans while sipping a soy latte down the streets of Williamsburg, I’ll be jamming to ‘Brooklyn Baby!’ ”

This statement raises many questions, chief among them: will you confirm or deny that you drink soy lattes? And have you found your skinny jeans yet?

EA: Well, as for soy lattes, I think you have to have an acquired taste for those.

And I’m still shopping around for those skinny jeans.

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