by Michael Bloomberg
Twelve days ago New York suffered the ultimate atrocity. Over 6,000 of
our co-workers, friends and loved ones were taken from us. And close to
400 firefighters, police officers and health/safety personnel gave their
own lives so others might live. What can one say through the tears,
other than thank you, we miss you, we will do for your families what
you would have done, we will carry on, we will not forget?
Make no mistake, this nation and City are being tested. Our freedoms
and beliefs are in jeopardy. We can cave into terrorism -- or continue
to stand resolute for liberty and justice like our forefathers have done
for the last 225 years. I know which we want. We will show the world.
We will cower to no one! This is America and we are New York!
We will improve our public safety to the extent a civilized society can
restrict and inhibit its daily lives. We will enhance our contingency
plans to respond to future crises as yet unknown. We will catch and
punish the guilty, not so much for retribution -- although we all
understand that instinct -- but as a deterrent to anyone who contemplates
another senseless barbaric attack. And we pledge the ultimate rebuke to
this mindless savagery, the continuation of America's and New York's
unparalleled democracy, civility and service to all humanity.
Nothing however will bring back those we lost last week. For their
sakes -- as a real memorial to them -- we must quickly, forcefully, openly
and methodically show the world terrorism has not won. We must rebuild
our buildings, our businesses, and to the extent possible, our lives.
Democracy is stronger than any assassin, and our compassion too great
not to help those left behind.
I urge all of you to open your hearts, volunteer your time, provide
your financial support to all in need here in our great city. Today we
focus on the victims of the World Trade Center disaster as we should,
but in each of our five boroughs there are those you can assist. Children
who need help in learning, adults unable to care for themselves --
elderly, alone, and scared, and not getting daily meals -- people without
jobs, and housing, and medical care.
And one more thing you can do as well. One of the great privileges we have
as Americans - and one
of the most solemn responsibilities. - is another way we can
"volunteer," contribute, do something to strengthen our country. On Tuesday,
there is a primary election for the office of Mayor. We must
vote! Think of it as lighting a candle to the 6,000 missing.
What are we voting for? For the person to lead the most wonderful,
generous, caring city in the world. Just watch Rudy Giuliani on
television. His job is part crisis management. We've seen how
important that is since September 11th (and how good he is at it). It's
part accountability, the day to day running of a great organization
with a quarter of a million dedicated employees and a 40 billion dollar
budget. It is part enunciating a vision of where New York should go,
and the practicality of getting us
there. It is part innovation, and creativity, and an unwillingness to
settle for the status quo. It is the service mentality of understanding
who government should work for, and how to give people access and
consideration. It is leadership, that intangible needed to motivate,
inspire, and encourage others: To give confidence in the future, to
convince people anything's possible if one works hard enough and
collaborates with others, to encourage each of us to make the world
better. That is what this Mayor does, and the next Mayor must do!
And what is this particular Mayoralty campaign about? Both the big
things that will be remembered in the history books, and the little
things that touch people's lives every day.
It is about consoling families on the loss of a loved one, and
explaining to them no one dies in vain. It's about passion, and
compassion, those that can help and those that need help. It is about
dealing with tragedy and calamity, and working toward a better world
yet to come.
"It is about pulling people together. It is about consulting, and
making a hard decision, and then sticking to it. It's about setting
priorities, and having the courage and fortitude to say NO to the
things we can't afford.
It's about big projects like constructing with billions of dollars and
thousands of jobs a replacement for the World Trade Center -- or another
great development on Manhattan's West side -- or many new Co-op City's
throughout New York. But it is also about personal things, like
helping people build small single-family houses with their own hands,
and with an affordable mortgage for their children. It's about the big
task of expanding our great universities and research hospitals. But
its also about convincing parents this is where their son or daughter
can live safely while getting the best education in the world, or where
they can get the best medical care.
It's about persuading companies to move here, and others to stay.
It's about assuring needed investors we will keep the streets safe, the
budget balanced, and taxes down. It's about changing regulation and
bureaucracy so we can build quicker and cheaper. It's about tapping
new sources of revenue to finance housing, and schools, and office
space. It's about preserving the rights of individuals, without
eliminating those of the many, and getting legislation to limit the
endless divisive court challenges to everything we try to do.
This race is about past accomplishments, and future potential -- what
have we done and what can we get done. It's about the difference
between the practical and theoretical, doing and talking, including
and excluding, complimenting and criticizing, building and destroying
-- the future and the past. In short, it's about finding a Mayor for
The central question facing the voters is this: Who has the knowledge, the
experience and the track record to handle the monumental job of
rebuilding our city and moving it forward? Over the last 20 years,
I've built a business that now employs 8,000 people. I've set goals,
made tough decisions, met deadlines and delivered on promises. Getting
the job done has been the basis for the success my company has achieved.
In the face of a massive rebuilding and a weakening economy, those are
the qualities it will take to conquer the challenges facing us now.
My experience has prepared me for these tough and difficult times.
I look at the world, not as a politician representing special interests
-- or as a professional critic who sees something wrong in everything --
but as a person who believes in the citizen government of our
Constitution, and one who always thinks tomorrow will be the best day
of my life.
I've watched the three Mayors I'd like to follow. Each has left their
mark. Each has a different perspective of what and how to make this
city better. Some things I agree with, and some I don't.
But I'm not them. I'm me, and I'm asking you to give me the
opportunity to govern. The future, not the past, is what faces us --
where the problems will be different, and the solutions as yet untried.
The world we face is one of great danger, of international competition,
technological reliance, economic uncertainty, heightened
sensitivities, fears and expectations. I am a business leader with
experience in both good and bad economic times --- in creating jobs,
crisis management, in managing thousands of people worldwide, in
dealing with billion dollar budgets, and conflicting priorities. That
is why my experience is right for now.
I don't do the conventional. My background is different from anyone's
you've ever considered for Mayor. But progress doesn't come from the
divisiveness of politics as usual. Improvement is not the result of
press releases. Promising is not the same as delivering. Nothing good
comes without pain and hard work.
What I'm about is honesty, and candor, and taking a position, and
leading rather than following. I have the knowledge of how to get
things done. That's what will take us into the future rather than back
to the disastrous past.
As Mayor Giuliani has said, "We're going to rebuild. We're going to
come out of this stronger than we were before. Emotionally stronger,
politically stronger, and economically stronger." I want to lead the
effort, and achieve the results!
The Primary election is Tuesday. Regardless of your party affiliation, or
who you favor, it is imperative you stand up for those in lower
Manhattan who lost their ability to do so, for democracy, and for your
rights. Please vote!