Mike Bloomberg Delivers the 601st and Final Weekly Radio Address
By NYC.gov - DEC. 29, 2013
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Thank you, New Yorkers. Thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you for 12 years. You took a chance on me in the dark days after 9/11, when the city’s future was so uncertain and our hearts were so heavy. I was a political outsider, a relative unknown, an entrepreneur with no government experience who asked for your trust.
“All I could offer you was a promise: That I would govern as a results-oriented leader, not a partisan politician; that I would make integrity the hallmark of City Hall, never owing the special interests a favor; and that I would always do what I believed to be right, no matter which way the political winds were blowing.
“That promise is often made in politics, but almost never kept. I’ve worked every day to keep it.
“I hired the most talented and hard-working people – no matter what party they belonged to – and gave them the freedom to come up with innovative new ways to improve life in our city. Whether you agreed or disagreed with us on any particular issue, you knew the decisions our administration made were based on the facts as we understood them and the principles we held, not on campaign contributions or political calculations.
“Those decisions were sometimes controversial – whether it was adopting a smoking ban, or implementing education reforms, or standing up for religious freedom in Lower Manhattan. But our determination to do right by New Yorkers allowed us to accomplish things that few people thought possible.
“When I first took the oath of office, few people would have believed that murder could be cut in half; that high school graduation rates could increase by 42 percent; that 22 of the state’s top 25 elementary and middle schools could be located in New York City, versus zero in 2001; that the number of people living in Lower Manhattan could more than double; that the number of jobs could hit a record high, with most of them created outside Manhattan; that our life expectancy could grow by three years; that we could be the only large city in the country to experience no increase in poverty; that we could create the largest affordable housing program any city has ever undertaken; that we could add more than 850 new acres of parkland and revitalize much of our waterfront; that one million trees could be planted; that our air could be cleaner than it’s been in more than 50 years and our harbor cleaner than it’s been in 100 years; that public art installations – like the Gates – could become global sensations; that the state’s first gay marriage could be performed at Gracie Mansion; and that we could go 12 years without terrorists carrying out another attack.
“But thanks to the work of so many extraordinary people we did all that, and more.
“Today, New York City is stronger than it’s ever been. Of course, we continue to face serious challenges; we always will. But we’ve shown that even the toughest challenges can be tackled successfully.
“On my first day in office, after taking the oath at City Hall, I visited the World Trade Center site to thank the men and women working there – and to tell them that we would rebuild stronger than ever. We have – not only in Lower Manhattan, but across all five boroughs.
“The progress we’ve made is a credit to everyone who works tirelessly on behalf of our city. I will leave office with a deep appreciation for the work they have done – and the sacrifices they have made. In recent weeks, I’ve called the families of all the City employees who died in the line of duty over the past 12 years. I wanted to tell them, again, how grateful our city remains for the extraordinary devotion their loved ones showed. We must never forget them.
“Every day over the past 12 years, I’ve awakened thinking about how to make our city stronger and safer, healthier and greener, freer and fairer, more just and compassionate, more innovative and forward-looking, with more opportunity for all.
“On Wednesday morning, I will wake up and smile, knowing that we did everything we could to achieve those goals. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you – and to make a difference in the future of this great city we all love so much.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”