New York City’s Democrat Mayor Eric Adams is reportedly requesting photos of city job applicants, as he wants to ensure that new members of the workforce are diverse — a move that seems to show the value of race and ethnicity over qualifications.
According to a report from Politico, most of the individuals — past and current city officials — the outlet spoke to are unsettled by the mayor’s request, although it seems the mayor’s office is presenting the request as a way Adams can simply “begin to recognize folks [sic] faces.”
“Flagging that the Mayor would love all agencies upper leadership in this type of style,” an April 19 email from an Adams staffer reads. “Clarifying also that the avatars in the attached should be actual photos as the Mayor likes to begin to recognize folks [sic] faces.”
However, many remain skeptical and view the request as a way for Adams to prioritize racial and ethnic diversity. One former employee suggested everyone knew what the request was really about at its core.
“It was the first thing everybody said: ‘We’re going to start counting complexions now,’” the individual said.
Nevertheless, it appears the mayor’s office is walking the line, contending that the request for photos is simply to make it easier to recognize the faces of workers, although Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for Adams, said the administration seeks to build a team “that reflects the city they serve and the administration they represent.”
“City Hall reviews the resume of all final candidates for senior level positions at agencies to ensure the mayor and we at City Hall know who is point on projects when working with them,” Levy said in a statement to Politico.
“The Adams administration is hiring the best people for the best jobs in the best city in the world. And we are committed to building a team that reflects the city they serve and the administration they represent,” he said, seemingly admitting that diversity is front and center.
However, he then claimed that “every hire is judged on their qualifications and whether they will be able to deliver for New Yorkers day after day.”
The move follows news of officials at New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stating that “structural racism and the resulting social and economic inequities increase the risk of heat stress for Black New Yorkers” in its warning about this week’s heat wave in the Big Apple.