Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum's 2006 Inaugural Address

You the people of New York have entrusted me to serve as your Public Advocate for another term. Thank you for your support. I am honored and privileged to assume this solemn responsibility.

Over the past four years my office has helped countless New Yorkers and made significant contributions to the way our city is run and they way it delivers services. Today, I am more certain than ever that the office of the Public Advocate has a vital role in the governance of our city.

Let me tell you about just a few of the New Yorkers we have helped:
We helped Eric – a homeless man with two children – get food stamps so that he could buy food for his family.
We helped Violet - a senior citizen living on a fixed income – get a subsidy to cover her rent increase.
And we helped Phil Kelly’s son get the special education services he had been denied. I am pleased that Mr. Kelly and his family could be here today.

And just consider the difference a determined public advocacy has made in the last 4 years:
We helped tens-of-thousands more New Yorkers sign up for food stamps by pushing through reforms to the application process.
We helped our most vulnerable residents – our elderly – get better housing, better transportation and better healthcare service.
We helped the city meet the challenges of special education and ensure that many children get the services to which they are entitled.

I am proud of what we have accomplished, but the first term was just the beginning.

I have enjoyed a productive relationship with the outgoing City Council speaker, Gifford Miller, and look forward to working constructively with his successor and with comptroller Thompson and the Bloomberg administration.

Mayor Bloomberg and I have not always agreed, but I believe we share many similar goals.

I am ready to join him in a bipartisan partnership driven by one overriding goal: to ensure that New Yorkers get the government services they need and deserve.

If we work together there is no limit to what we can achieve: to make sure no one goes hungry; to make sure every senior has a warm home and adequate healthcare; to make sure every New Yorker has a safe and affordable home; and that all our children get an education that prepares them for tomorrow.

Working together we can build an even stronger New York, a New York that never looses sight of the people who are the heart and soul of this great city.

I have worked in city government for more than 30 years and the people of New York are the best bosses I have ever had. I am honored that they once again chose me to serve the city that I love.

And I am proud that my office is one place where all New Yorkers can turn when they need help.

Thank you.


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