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05.04.2015
Thank you, Reverend Fred Lucas Jr., Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Monsignor Robert Romano, and Imam Askia Muhammad for your words of prayer. Thank you, Mayor Dinkins, for starting us on the road to a safer city, and for always uplifting our youth – and I must say personally, for giving me my start in New York City government. And finally, thank you to my brothers Steve and Don, and all my family assembled today -- from all around this country, and from Italy.
Thank you, my fellow New Yorkers - my brothers and sisters -- for joining Chirlane, Chiara, Dante and me on this chilly winter day.
De parte de Chirlane, Chiara, Dante y yo, les extiendo las gracias a ustedes, mis hermanas y hermanos niuyorquinos, por acompanarnos en este dia tan especial. The spark that ignites our unwavering resolve to do everything possible to ensure that every girl and boy, no matter what language they speak, what subway line they ride, what neighborhood they call home — that every child has the chance to succeed.
Nearly a century ago, it was Al Smith who waged war on unsafe working conditions and child labor. From Jacob Riis to Eleanor Roosevelt to Harry Belafonte — who we are honored to have with us here today — it was New Yorkers who challenged the status quo, who blazed a trail of progressive reform and political action, who took on the elite, who stood up to say that social and economic justice will start here and will start now. We will reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy, both to protect the dignity and rights of young men of color, and to give our brave police officers the partnership they need to continue their success in driving down crime. We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K and after-school programs for every middle school student. Those earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. But Fiorello La Guardia — the man I consider to be the greatest Mayor this city has ever known — put it best. We do it to give peace of mind to working parents, who suffer the anxiety of not knowing whether their child is safe and supervised during those critical hours after the school day ends, but before the workday is done. New York has faced fiscal collapse, a crime epidemic, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Its urgency is read on the faces of our neighbors and their children, as families struggle to make it against increasingly long odds. A city that fights injustice and inequality — not just because it honors our values, but because it strengthens our people.
It’s a place that celebrates a very simple notion: that no matter what your story is – this is your city. The man who might be the next mayor of New York City is someone most people have never heard of. Less than two months ago, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was struggling to get to 20 percent among Democratic primary voters. He even trailed the guy everyone did know: disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose lingering sexting scandal seemed to take most of the air out of the other candidates.


Votes are still being counted, but 97 percent are in and de Blasio has 40.2 percent of the vote to the 26 percent of his nearest competitor, former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson. It may take a week or more to find out whether de Blasio will be able to hold on to the 40 percent he needs to avoid a runoff, but his performance has surprised observers if only because it effectively upended the race for the most powerful mayoral job in the country.
Here's the trivia: He's a Massachusetts-bred Brooklynite who has boldly declared his love for the Boston Red Sox over the Yankees. He is married to an African American woman, Chirlane McCray, who tells people she was a lesbian in the 1970s.
De Blasio served as Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign manager and on the New York City Council. And he has a celebrity entourage that includes endorsements from the likes of Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, civil rights activist and singer Harry Belafonte, and actress Susan Sarandon.
So in a campaign that featured Weiner's attempt to be the comeback kid, the title was taken instead by de Blasio. He also highlighted his opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an Independent, which delighted Democratic voters after 12 years under his governance. Exit polls from Tuesday night's primary found that Democratic voters wanted the next mayor to move away from Bloomberg's policies. De Blasio made his opposition to "stop and frisk" a central part of his campaign, and when a federal court ruled it violated constitutional rights in August he led the charge to denounce the policy and Bloomberg. He's promised to tax the rich to fund education, and has denounced Bloomberg's' business-driven governing philosophy. In what may have been a slip of the tongue in an interview with New York Magazine, Bloomberg called de Blasio's campaign "class-warfare and racist," only to clarify that he believed de Blasio used his bi-racial family in ads to appeal to black voters. If de Blasio's narrow edge of 40 percent hold up, making him the Democratic nominee, he will try to become the first Democrat elected to the nation's largest city since 1989. He would face the Republican candidate, former Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman and former deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lhota in November.
To close the deal with the general electorate -- composed of more than 800,000 people who are not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican Party a€” he may have to moderate, Moss said. You also had the wisdom to hire a strong and beautiful young woman who walked up to me one day in City Hall and changed my life forever. We see what binds all New Yorkers together: an understanding that big dreams are not a luxury reserved for a privileged few, but the animating force behind every community, in every borough. It was Franklin Roosevelt and Frances Perkins who led the charge for the basic bargain of unemployment insurance and the minimum wage. A movement that sees the inequality crisis we face today, and resolves that it will not define our future. That’s less than three bucks a day – about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks.


A 5-year tax on the wealthiest among us – with every dollar dedicated to pre-K and after-school. And we do it because we know that we must invest in our city, in the future inventors and CEOs and teachers and scientists, so that our generation – like every generation before us – can leave this city even stronger than we found it. To tackle a challenge this daunting, we need a dramatic new approach — rebuilding our communities from the bottom-up, from the neighborhoods up. It’s the city to which my grandparents were welcomed from the hills of Southern Italy, the city in which I was born, where I met the love of my life, where Chiara and Dante were raised. And as Weiner voters abandoned him, de Blasio was well positioned to bring them into his campaign's fold. And most say that the controversial "stop and frisk" policy, which Bloomberg championed as they key to reducing the city's crime, resulted in the harassment of innocent people.
I have to note that, over 20 years ago, when a conservative philosophy seemed dominant, you broke through – and told us to still believe in a place called Hope. Your groundbreaking commitment to nurturing our children and families manifested itself in a phrase that is now a part of our American culture – and something we believe in deeply in this city.
We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. Now I know there are those who think that what I said during the campaign was just rhetoric, just “political talk” in the interest of getting elected. They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else. And we do it to honor a basic truth: that a strong economy is dependent on a thriving school system. We do it to give every kid a chance to get their education off on the right foot, from the earliest age, which study after study has shown leads to greater economic success, healthier lives, and a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty. A city that remembers our responsibility to each other — our common cause — is to leave no New Yorker behind. Your passion on issues such as environmental protection and public health has built a noble legacy.
We pledge today to continue the great progress you made in these critically important areas.
And it won’t be accomplished only by me; It will be accomplished by all of us — those of us here today, and millions of everyday New Yorkers in every corner of our city.



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