Leading the effort within City Hall are Chief of Staff Frank Carone and Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer.
Despite Adams’ ties to the outer boroughs — he grew up in Queens and served as Brooklyn borough president — his team is pitching Midtown Manhattan as the location, given its proximity to hotels, public transportation, museums and restaurants, the person said.
During his first term in office, former Mayor Bill de Blasio applied to host the 2016 convention, but ultimately lost to Philadelphia. At that time the city estimated the event would set taxpayers back $10 million, with the bulk of the total $100 million cost being shouldered by private donors.
Among the reasons cited were the location of the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, as opposed to what many considered the more obvious choice of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Then-chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, cited inadequate hotel supply in Brooklyn for the delegates who would be attending the convention; others pointed to difficulty securing the perimeter around the arena.
“Delegate experience was a very, very important thing for us,” she said at the time.
New York City last hosted a presidential nominating convention in 2004 — but it was for the Republican Party. The most recent Big Apple DNC was at Madison Square Garden in 1992 with nominee Bill Clinton.
The pitch comes as Adams, just five months into the job, is already beginning to covet a national role. He has repeatedly declared himself the “face of the Democratic Party” and urged national Democrats to focus more on common-sense solutions than ideology. (The left wing of the party and Adams are routinely at odds.)
In pitching national Democrats on New York — a much bluer state than the battlegrounds that often host conventions — Adams is expected to highlight the city’s hotel inventory and public transit, access to three major airports, support from labor unions and the mayor’s relatively good relationship with Gov. Kathy Hochul, the person said.
Adams will likely have to walk the line on how he talks about gun violence, a topic he repeatedly cites as the most important he is facing.
“In my professional career, I have never witnessed crime at this level, and the willingness to carry guns and the willingness to use a gun,” he recently said in a televised interview — a comment that drew pushback given the high rate of violence in the city when he was a police officer in the 1980s.
But Adams on Monday sounded more like a cheerleader than a skeptic.
He said he recently spoke with the head of Goldman Sachs, following the death of an employee who was killed over the weekend on a subway.
“I’m going to meet with all of my corporate leaders and tell them that we need to forge ahead, we’re going to do our job and continually transform how we’re patrolling, identifying these problem spots, dealing with the housing issue, dealing with all the disorder that we are experiencing,” he said. “But yes, the call is to come back to work, and the subway system being safe is a major driver to doing that.”
Janaki Chadha contributed to this report.