Many Democrats at the conference were still grappling with Tuesday’s election results, in which a number of Democrats were wiped out on Long Island, Republicans made unexpected gains in the City Council, and Democratic candidates around the country lost or barely survived even in typically Democratic-leaning states.
“We don’t have our fingers on the pulse of everyday Democrats,” Mr. Adams said at a news conference, speaking broadly of the party. “Democrats don’t want to disband police departments. They want police officers to do their job. Democrats are not against closing Rikers Island, but they also want to close the pipeline that feeds Rikers Island.”
Still, Mr. Adams and many attendees were more often in a celebratory mood, taking stock of a City Council that will have a majority of women for the first time and embracing a sweeping infrastructure bill passed by the House late Friday. Around 9 p.m. Friday, shortly before the House vote, Mr. Schumer was at a party hosted by Dominican leaders showing off some unusual dance moves and shimmying with Carlina Rivera, one of the candidates for City Council speaker.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Adams had insisted to reporters that he was “not involved” in the speaker’s race and that it would be decided by the 51 members of the City Council, though nearly everyone at the event was debating whom he might support — and there are ways, overtly or implicitly, that he or his allies may influence the process.
“I’m just excited about the makeup of the Council — young, energetic, with a lot of ideas,” Mr. Adams said, adding that “seasoned electeds” like Julie Menin, a veteran city commissioner and the city’s census director, and Gale A. Brewer, the Manhattan borough president who is joining the Council, would help guide the group.
At an event with union leaders the next day in Loíza, a township founded by formerly enslaved Africans, Mr. Adams vowed to fight “systemic inequalities” and compared himself to the abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner.
“I’m coming from the lineage of those who have always pushed back against the system,” he said.
At a fund-raiser for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Mr. Adams also defended himself from criticism that he was spending time with the city’s elite at the Manhattan nightclub Zero Bond.