Advice from the Mayor of Topeka to Eric Adams: Learn humility

Mayor Eric Adams, like many New Yorkers, believes his city is the center of the universe, and he also believes there was a God-given reason he was chosen to lead it — and not some random podunk town.

To get his point across, Mr. Adams mentioned one specific location Tuesday: Topeka, Kan.

“God said, ‘I’m going to take the most broken man and make him mayor of the mightiest city on earth,'” said Mr. Adams. “He could have made me mayor of Topeka, Kansas. He could have made me mayor of a small town or village anywhere.”

The Mayor of Topeka was not impressed.

A day after Mr. Adams made his comments, Michael Padilla, the mayor of Topeka, a town with a Population of 126,587, returned the New York Times’ request for a response, characterizing Mr Adams’ comments as “concerning and unprofessional”.

“He was able to make his points without trying to belittle our great city and I wish he would,” Mr Padilla said on Wednesday. “As Mayor of Topeka and a lifelong member of this community, I am so proud of who we are and what we stand for.”

A spokesman for Mr Adams did not have an immediate reply. But as Mr. Padilla noted in his statement, this wasn’t the first time Mr. Adams used Kansas as a foil.

During a press conference in September about recent visits to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Mr. Adams argued that one of New York City’s virtues is that, unlike Kansas, it has a brand name.

“Kansas doesn’t have a brand,” he said at the time. “If you go there, OK, you’re from Kansas. No. Oh guess what? But New York has a brand. It has a brand and that brand means diversity. This brand means we care. This brand means we are compassionate.”

The comment made headlines In Kansasknown as the Sunflower State, where political leaders rose up in defense of their state.

Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas — perhaps unaware that Mr. Adams is committed to a plant-based diet — even had some of her family members personally deliver a gift basket of Kansas steak to Gracie Mansion, the New York City mayor’s official residence, said in an October -Interview.

“We appreciate that Governor Kelly came forward,” Mr. Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said at the time. “Our teams are working to schedule a call between her and Mayor Adams and hope to schedule it soon. We also appreciate the Kansas delicacies that were sent to Gracie Mansion, although of course the steaks must be donated.”

Mayor Padilla on Wednesday trumpeted his city’s role as “the birthplace of the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education that banned segregation in America’s public schools,” and offered some advice to the mayor.

“One of the best lessons I’ve learned in my tenure as mayor is the value of humility,” said Mr. Padilla. “I have personally visited New York City on numerous occasions and have always spoken highly of New Yorkers—without inclining to assumptions or stereotypes. I would invite the mayor of New York to learn about our beautiful city and its people before passing judgment on a community he seems to know little about.”

Katie Glueck and Ed Shanahan contributed coverage. Advice from the Mayor of Topeka to Eric Adams: Learn humility

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