Mayor Michael Bloomberg's remarks to the Republican National Convention
Monday, August 30, 2004
Welcome to my New York, your New York, our New York, everybody's New York.
I want to thank former Mayor Ed Koch (read Ed Koch's remarks) for helping us mobilize not only the 8,000 volunteers you
saw, but also the 20,000 you got for this amazing event. Your success is a
mark of just how excited New Yorkers are to have the convention here. It's
also our way of saying "thank you" to the Republicans for your tremendous
vote of confidence in our city.
We should remember that it wasn't so long ago that confidence in New York
was in short supply. When I took the oath of office nearly three years ago,
we were a city in mourning, a city that in a few dreadful hours lost over
3,000 of our own - husbands, wives, sons and daughters from every part of
the nation and every corner of the globe.
There were those who doubted then whether this city could hold on to the
gains made in the 1990s under Mayor Giuliani. A lot of people were wondering
what the future held for New York City or whether we even had a future. But
neither America nor President Bush ever stopped believing in us.
Nearly two years ago, with the city's fate still a question mark in many
minds, our President decided that this convention would come to New York
City. This was a show of faith that required courage and vision, one that
all New Yorkers will not forget.
And today it feels me with enormous pride and gratitude to tell everyone
that New York City is back.
Our economy is growing with 45,000 private sector jobs created in the last
12 months alone. Our neighborhoods are humming with a level of public and
private construction not seen since end of World War II. Our streets are
bustling with a three-year 15 percent reduction in crime that has defied the
odds and made the nation's safest city even safer. Our schools are reviving,
our streets are cleaner, our quality of life is better. And our future is
brighter than ever.
What's more, New York City has been given the high honor of representing all
America in the competition to host the world's greatest athletic event, the
2012 Olympic Games. That's only fitting because from our earliest days when
Peter Stuyvesant was the governor of a small, multi-lingual frontier outpost
right up today when a 170 different languages are spoken on our streets and
in our homes, New York has been, and always will be, an Olympic Village.
We've shown the world that New York can never be defeated. Because of its
dynamic and diverse population and because it embodies the spirit of
enterprise and the love of liberty, and because no matter who you are, if
you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place
This is the city of dreamers and time and again it is the place where the
greatest dream of all, the American Dream, has been tested and has
In his first major national speech in 1860, Abraham Lincoln challenged this
party and our nation to face the moral evil of slavery with the faith that
"right makes might." And later that year, it was New York's delegation to
the Republican National Convention that moved to make Abraham Lincoln's
nomination for the presidency of the United States unanimous.
I'm proud to say that framed on a wall in my home is the flag those New York
Republicans carried during that convention. It is a constant reminder to me
of the proud role New York played at a pivotal moment in our nation's
Four score and seven years later, New York City is where Jackie Robinson
erased the color barrier in our national pastime with his bat and glove and
gallant spirit. A monument to this trailblazer is being constructed in
Brooklyn to remind us all, America is for everyone.
And our city is also where on Independence Day, Governor George Pataki and I
laid the cornerstone for the Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade
Center. The terrorist hit us there. Our knees buckled but we stayed on our
feet. And we showed that our dreams, like our liberties, will never be lost
to violence or hate.
No place epitomizes the American experience and the American spirit more
than New York City. Ironically, it is exactly because we are a city that
embraces freedom that welcomes everyone and encourages their dreams that New
York remains on the frontlines in the war on terror.
I want to thank President Bush for supporting New York City in changing the
homeland security funding formula and for leading the global war on
terrorism. The president deserves our support. We are here to support him. I
am here to support him.
We all must recognize that homeland security funds should be allocated by
threat and no other reason. And I will repeat this message to my fellow
Republican, Independents, and Democrats as many times as it takes so that we
can keep New York safe and secure.
New Yorkers will go forward, doing our duty for our city, our nation, and
our families. And we know that you will too. Because in our greatest hour of
need, you - all our fellow Americans from every corner of this land - were
there for us, and we owe you more than we can say.
Your police officers and firefighters volunteered for duty at Ground Zero.
Your houses of worship sent blankets, food, and prayers. Your children
mailed us pictures and poems. That is another reason why this convention is
another reason for us to say thank you. And it is why we are making our
town, your town for the week.
We're the world's second home. The place where every religion is practiced
and every culture is celebrated. It's all there for you. From Brooklyn
Heights to Bayside, from Coney Island to Chelsea: Take it all in. The
world's greatest museums, Broadway, the Yankees and the Mets, high fashion
shopping and bargain hunting specials, and more than 18,000 restaurants in
all five boroughs eager to please any palate and fit any budget.
And let me give you an insiders tip; my own personal favorite thing to do in
this city. At least once, one morning while you are here, begin the day with
a ride on the ferry to Staten Island. Out there on the harbor, you will
glide past the Statue of Liberty, the beacon of freedom that America holds
out to people everyone. It's guaranteed to bring a lump to our throat,
because you will be looking at New York the way generations of new Americans
have Ð as the place to make all your dreams come true.
Thank you and have a great convention.