2013-11-05 - Bill De Blasio
Ladies and gentleman, give it up for the next First Lady of New York City!
My fellow New Yorkers: today, you spoke out loudly and clearly for a new direction in our city, united by a belief that our city should leave no New Yorker behind.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the campaign and humbled by it. And let me say to all of you, from the bottom of my heart: thank you!
But let me be clear. Our work -- all of our work -- is really just beginning. And we have no illusions about the task that lies ahead.
Tackling inequality isn’t easy; it never has been, and never will be. The challenges we face have been decades in the making, and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight.
But make no mistake: the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together, as one city.
Estamos muy orgullosos de lo que hemos logrado en esta campaña. Seré claro: Nuestro trabajo acaba de empezár. Los problemas de nuestra ciudad no serán fácil de resolver. Pero, una cosa es clara: la gente de esta ciudad ha elegido el camino progresista, y esta noche empezámos a caminar, juntos, como una sola ciudad.
To everyone who knocked on doors, made phone calls, persuaded your friends, held house parties, oreven tweeted about the campaign: this victory is yours! Thank you so much!
There are so many inspiring individuals and organizations so many friends who made this victory possible. If I mentioned each name, we’d be here all night – you know who you are, and you know I wouldn’t be here without you.
I do want to acknowledge two close friends who guided and advised me at every turn, even when the polls didn’t look so hot. Please give it up for Ambassador Patrick Gaspard and Nick Baldick.
And I want to say how grateful I am to Bill Hyers and Emma Wolfe and the best campaign team this city has ever seen!
And a special thank you to two people who have helped me since my first run for City Council, here in this neighborhood: Gabrielle Fialkoff and Jim Crounse.
But the people I am most grateful to – and most grateful for – are standing right next to me. My partner in life, my best friend in the world, she is brilliant and every bit as compassionate as she is tough. The love of my life: Chirlane McCray!
And of everything I have to feel fortunate about, I am most lucky to be the father of two extraordinary children: Chiara and Dante. They make me proud every single day. And they’re very stylish.
Tonight I feel the deepest appreciation for generations of my family, including those no longer with us and a special thank you to my Italian family and friends in Rome, and in my Grandfather’s hometown of Sant’Agata dei Goti and my Grandmother’s hometown of Grassano. To them I say: grazie a tutti!
Earlier this evening, I received a call from Joe Lhota. Even though we have our differences, I know he loves this city as much as I do.
To everyone whose vote I didn’t earn today: I promise that I won’t stop working to earn your trust.
I’ve spoken often about a Tale of Two Cities. That inequality – that feeling of a few doing very well, while so many slip further behind – that is the defining challenge of our time. Because inequality in New York is not something that only threatens those who are struggling.
The stakes are so high for every New Yorker. And making sure no son or daughter of New York falls behind defines the very promise of our city.
New York is the brightest embodiment of the idea behind American greatness: It doesn’t matter where you were born what you look like what your religion is, or who you love.
If you have brains and heart and guts and faith, this city – more than any other in the world – will offer you a real chance at a better life.
For generations, New York has meant opportunity. That’s what it has been to so many, and that what it must be again.
It’s how immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island – those with nothing to their names but a few bags and high hopes – started businesses that became bedrocks of entire communities.
It’s how kids who have grown up poor, from every borough, have become CEOs and playwrights fashion designers and architects doctors and teachers.
It’s how for generations, even in the face of untold economic stress, working parents in New York knew this city had their back they knew if they gave it all they had, this city would reward their kids with a shot, a real shot, at something better.
New Yorkers are strong and resilient, dedicated and big-hearted. Our greatness is not accidental. But neither is it inevitable.
To maintain that greatness and to ensure that our brightest days are ahead of us, we must commit ourselves to progressive ideas that will lift us all.
It won’t be easy, but it is essential. It is a challenge I know this city is up to because I’ve seen the commitment of New Yorkers from every borough, every neighborhood, every income bracket the commitment to rise to this challenge of our time together.
The best and the brightest are born in every neighborhood. We all have a shared responsibility -- and a shared stake -- in making sure their destiny is defined by how hard they work and how big they dream, not by their Zip code.
So when we call on the wealthiest among us to pay just a little more in taxes to fund universal Pre-K and after-school programs we aren’t threatening anyone’s success. We are asking those who’ve done very well to ensure that every child has the same opportunity to do just as well as they have.
That’s how we all rise together.
Public safety is a prerequisite for the thriving neighborhoods that create opportunity in this city. So is respect for civil liberties. The two are not mutually exclusive; in fact we must have both.
We must work to promote a real partnership between the best police force in the world and the communities they protect from danger – be it local or global.
New Yorkers on both sides of the badge understand this. We’re all hungry for an approach that acknowledges we are stronger and safer as a city when police and residents work hand-in-hand.
That’s how we all rise together.
Opportunity in New York springs from strong neighborhoods. When we demand that big developers build affordable housing, and fight to keep our hospitals from becoming luxury condos, it’s not to punish the real estate industry.
We do these things so the everyday, hardworking people who anchor our neighborhoods can live and work and be healthy in the communities they love.
That’s how we all rise together.
New York is no stranger to big challenges. We’ve faced the depths of the Depression, we’ve stared down the hateful destruction of terrorists, we’ve endured the ferocity of gale force winds and surging tides, and each and every time, New Yorkers have faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles with grit and determination and an unyielding commitment to one another and we have – always – prevailed.
The challenge before us today is different from any we’ve faced before: it has no distinct or dramatic catalyst, no insidious face, no electronic image on a radar map. The growing inequality we see, the crisis of affordability we face, it has been decades in the making. But its slow creep upon this city cannot weaken our resolve.
And it won’t.
The people of our city come from so many different places, with so many different stories. By our nature, we are clear eyed and realistic. Yet we stand united – united by a shared hope, a shared optimism, a shared faith that there’s no problem bigger than our city, no adversity more powerful than the might of our collective ideas and action.
New York’s resilience is legendary; our toughness is unmatched; and our will is unbreakable.
So I say to you tonight:
The road ahead will be difficult, but it will be traveled;
Progressive changes won’t happen overnight, but they will happen;
There will be many obstacles that stand in our way, but we will overcome them.
And know this: I will never stop fighting for the city I love, and we all love, so much. And I will never forget that as mayor, I work for you.
And we as New Yorkers, people whose stories wouldn’t be possible anywhere else on earth, we know that we are not defined by the cold steel of our skyscrapers, but by the strength and compassion and boldness of our collective spirit.
We are all at our best when every child, every parent, every New Yorker has a shot. And we reach our greatest heights when we all rise together.
Thank you and God bless you!