FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG RECEIVES THE CLINTON GLOBAL CITIZEN “LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC SERVICE” AWARD, PRESENTED BY VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Remarks as delivered tonight at the Seventh Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at the Sheraton New York Hotel:
"Well good evening, everyone. Joe, thank you for that kind introduction. If the Federal government shuts down next week, don't worry: come back to New York and we'll put you to work down at City Hall. We still have a lot of work to do; there's 97 days left, but who's counting?
"All kidding aside, Joe Biden has become a friend, as has his great wife Jill. We play golf together, we've reminisced about the past and we've talked about the future. And Joe Biden has done an amazing job.
"It is really a great honor to be presented with an award for 'Leadership in Public Service' by someone whose record in public service is unsurpassed, and whose leadership has moved this country forward on a range of issues, including one, as Joe pointed out, guns.
"Joe said that the anti-gun movement, or the interest in having rational gun laws is contagious. Unfortunately, it's not contagious enough yet, but we still have to work on it. And I don't think that President Obama could have appointed a better person than Joe Biden to lead the charge from the government's point of view for common sense gun reforms. And even though we have yet to get the bill passed, Joe's not giving up the fight, and certainly neither am I.
"If there were simple solutions to complex problems we wouldn't have the problems, so when people say, 'Well, you haven't made progress yet,' that's not true. We have a lot of states that have passed common sense gun laws. And even in Colorado where two people who stood up for what was right for this country and right for the people of Colorado and then lost a recall election, people say we lost. That law, incidentally, in Colorado was passed. It's on the books and it's being enforced, so the public really has won and it's thanks to people like those two Senators, State Senators, in Colorado who had the courage to do what was right, even if they knew it was going to hurt their careers.
"It's especially an honor to be in the company of tonight's awardees who have some really incredibly and inspiring stories. It really is humbling. And of course, it's an honor to receive an award from an organization created by a family that has, I think it's fair to say, redefined leadership in public service and who we're proud to call New Yorkers - President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and Chelsea.
"And I think it's fair to say that I share this award with the Clintons. When Senator Clinton was in Washington we worked closely together on so many issues and I can tell you she was always there for us every time we needed her. She was a great Senator, and she promised that she would make sure that the Federal government helped with money for us to pay for security for the United Nations - and she did say that. Of course when she was Secretary of State things were slightly different, but we all understand that. I will not forget that.
"All kidding aside, we've never had a stronger ally for us in Washington than the Secretary, and she has worked for this country as few other people ever have. And I'm so proud to be able to call her a friend. I pinch myself - I didn't know people like Hillary Clinton that I could call on a first name basis. But here I am, and I call her husband on a first name basis. People call you Mr. President, I call you Bill. He never seems to object to that.
"And anyway, my foundation also has never had as strong a partner as we have had with President Clinton. We've worked closely together on an issue that both of us believe critical to the future of this world, and one that Chelsea has taken a public role in, and that is climate change.
"Together, we merged the Clinton Climate Initiative with the C-40 Climate Leadership Group, which I chair. The reason for the merger was simple, because more than any non-mayor, Bill Clinton recognized the power of cities to shape the world.
"From closing a waste dump in Mexico City to expanding Bus Rapid Transit around the globe, the President and I work with mayors to help them create more sustainable cities and a healthier world.
"The Clinton Global Initiative has been an incredible force for good in the world, and we can only imagine what it will be able to accomplish now that the President has been joined by Hillary and Chelsea. If it can accomplish half as much good for the world as Hillary did as Secretary of State, and as Bill did as President, then the future of our world really looks bright.
"Thank you again for this honor, but most importantly it's just an honor to be able to work with you and with the Vice President and his wife and Diana and everybody else to make this a better world.
"We're all in it together. When people say,'Why bother?' Just look in a mirror, because it's the right thing to do. Thank you all."
Marc LaVorgna (212) 788-2958
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