“Many people are surprised to learn a number of iconic places in our city are named after individuals who held people as slaves,” Mr. DuBois said. “Should New Yorkers have to live on streets or go to schools or buildings named for slave holders or should those names be changed?”
Mr. DuBois referred to people like Peter Stuyvesant, a director-general of New Netherland who owned slaves; a large apartment complex on Manhattan’s East Side is named for him. Rikers Island, which houses New York City’s main jail complex, is named for the Riker family, which includes Richard Riker, who sent Black Americans into slavery.
“We should not honor people that have had an abusive past,” Mr. Adams said.
Ms. Wiley, who previously worked as a civil rights lawyer, said that symbols mattered and that these places should be renamed. But she added that it was also important to ensure that all of communities of color “finally get the attention, the investments and the change that they deserve.”
Maya Wiley cast herself as the top progressive candidate.
Ms. Wiley was able to cast herself as the leading progressive candidate in the debate, helped in part by Mr. Stringer’s scandals and Dianne Morales’s absence on the debate stage.
Nowhere did she do that more decisively than on the question of the police and their use of guns.
“Attorney General Tish James is proposing legislation to limit cops from firing their weapons, use of force as a last resort,” Ms. Kramer said. “Now, some might ask, why not go all the way and take away the guns all together like they do in 19 other countries where the bulk of the police force is unarmed?”
Ms. Wiley did not rule out the idea, as every other candidate did. Instead, she equivocated.
First, she said that the mayor’s No. 1 job was safety.
Ms. Kramer interjected to ask if she would take the officers’ guns away from them.
Ms. Wiley responded by talking about the importance of getting illegal guns off the street. Ms. Kramer tried one last time: “But will you take the guns away from the N.Y.P.D.?”