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Published by Celeste Katz

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Categories:Types, Presentations
Published by: Celeste Katz on Apr 10, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone for being here. I want to particularly thank Jennifer Jones Austin for her extraordinary introduction, but more importantly for her extraordinary work in helping us to build this administration and to make the changes we’re making in this city. We owe her a debt of gratitude for having played such an important leadership role in our transition. Let’s thank her. [Applause]  And let’s thank Katherine Ponce de Leon for leading us so beautifully in the pledge of allegiance. [Applause] I thank all the elected officials, all the commissioners and city officials, all friends who are with us this today for  joining us as we mark this occasion. But I especially have to thank my partner in all I do, the person who I think with and dream with and the person who has been with me every step of the way, the first lady of the City of New York, my wife Chirlane McCray. [Applause] We have a lot to celebrate. We have a lot to be thankful for, but our hearts are still very heavy today. Yesterday we lost a good man. We lost New York City Police Officer Dennis Guerra. And I want you to understand what this means in human terms – a married father of four, just 38 years old, a hero, a man who walked into danger to try and save others, and saw it as his duty and his responsibility. We lost someone who exemplified all that’s good about New York City, and my heart goes out to his family. We feel their loss with them. And I ask you to keep them in your prayers, and I also ask you to keep in your prayers Police Officer Rosa Rodriguez, who’s still in critical condition, still fighting for her life. Remember her and her family. She too is a hero. And she needs our prayers and support in this moment.  And they represent the most selfless and noble traditions of this city. And let us have a moment of silence for Office Guerra. [Silence] I want to take a moment to thank everyone at the Cooper Union, this extraordinary New York treasure. I want to thank President Bharucha for his leadership, and I want to thank the faculty, all the workers here at Cooper Union and all of the students who make this place one of the great institutions of this city. It is a particular honor to be here because this stage is renowned for over a century and a half for being one of the places that New Yorkers come together to think, to talk, to dream. And it’s part of a – an institution that’s always had the highest academic standards but has always believed in inclusion. It’s believed that everyone deserves an opportunity for the extraordinary education afforded here. You heard from the president, this is a stage where scientists and artists and presidents and mayors have spoken. And they’ve spoken to passionate souls and curious minds over the generations – people seeking truth and people trying to make sense of the times they live in and where we go from here. So we find ourselves in a perfect setting to discuss all that our city is and all that we’re capable of when we’re at our very best. One of the most distinguished individuals to ever grace this stage, Abraham Lincoln, said right here at Cooper Union, “Let us have faith that right makes might.”
  And that is the spirit we bring to this endeavor. When this Administration was sworn into office 100 days ago, there were certainly some who didn’t know what to make of us – not just of me, but of all of you, of all the people who helped to get us here. So let me take a moment to tell you what we’re all about. This administration is a product of movement politics. But the movement we’re a part of doesn’t define the boundaries of its ranks through exclusivity. Rather, it’s a movement of people who share a vision – people in every borough, of every background, and every income bracket, who believe in our city’s progressive traditions. In the last 100 days, we’ve been inspired by the support of so many New Yorkers – working parents and retirees, schoolteachers and business leaders.  And what we all share is a vision of a progressive city: a city that is run with the highest standards of effectiveness and professionalism, a city that respects everyone’s dignity, a city that honors our proud tradition of inclusion and equality. We welcome every New Yorker in this endeavor because we believe that we are at our best when everyone gets a shot at fulfilling their dreams. Some people weren’t quite sure what to make of our progressive agenda to reduce inequality and restore opportunity. But now they’re starting to see. Because politics of the sort that we believe in doesn’t measure success by poll numbers, but by action. We believe in grassroots, people-powered government. We judge – thank you. [Applause] We judge success on results – on making a difference in the lives of real people in every neighborhood, in all five boroughs. Now the vision we are advancing isn’t new to our city – progressiveness, opportunity, inclusion, justice – these values are coded in New York’s DNA. New York has always been the center of progressive America. This is the city where courageous workers were pioneers in the union movement; where the NAACP was formed and where the Stonewall protests launched the LGBT rights movement; the city of the Statue of Liberty, the ultimate symbol of open doors and unmatched opportunity for people from every corner of the globe. We weren’t sent to City Hall to change New York’s character. You sent us here to restore New York’s proud legacy as the progressive city.
[Applause] You sent us here to keep the sacred promise of our city that everyone has a place, that everyone gets a voice. No nos enviaron a la Alcaldía para cambiar el carácter de Nueva York; ustedes nos trajeron aquí para restaurar el orgulloso legado de Nueva York como la ciudad progresista. [Applause] Y para preservar la sagrada promesa de que en Nueva York hay lugar para todos y que todos tenemos voz. [Applause] Our inequality crisis – the Tale of Two Cities that we’ve been living for years and years threatens who we are, and it threatens what kind of city we will be. Restoring a progressive New York, that is our vision and it’s what’s driven the steps we take, and it’s what drives the steps we will take ahead, together. But I can tell you, in the first 100 days, we’ve already great strides. And I want to thank everyone in this room who’s been a part of it. You know I had an opportunity during the Inner Circle show that the media puts on each year – I had the opportunity to portray one of the great New Yorkers of TV history, Ralph Kramden, played by Jackie Gleason. [Applause]  And if he were standing here – if Ralph Kramden were standing here, he would say at this moment how sweet it is. [Applause] In a progressive city, the government must perform at the highest level of effectiveness and professionalism. It’s how we keep faith with the people. It’s how we show them that we mean to honor their trust. And it sounds simple, but I assure you it’s not. It begins with finding the finest, most talented individuals to serve others – no matter what sacrifice it means for them. People who give of themselves to this city – a lot of them are here – the leaders of our city agencies, people who work to make this place run and are working to make it better. Please give them a round of Applause to thank all of them. [Applause] Many people told me in the months before I became mayor that it would be hard to find good talent, let alone great talent. But get to know our deputy mayors and the heads of our agencies and all the people who are making this project, this plan come together, who have made these 100 days happen. And it will make you additionally proud to be a New Yorker. Now if New Yorkers can’t be confident that their city will provide basic services, then all of the other things we’re doing – all of the rest of our vision for a progressive city will mean very little.

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