INAUGURATION SPEECH BY
Archives of RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI

CITY HALL, NEW YORK
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 1994


Time brings all things to pass, and with the start of my Administration New York City is poised for dramatic change.

The era of fear has had a long enough reign.

The period of doubt has run its course.

As of this moment the expressions of cynicism, New York is not governable, not manageable, not worth it...

...all of these are declared politically incorrect. On this day of new beginnings, I give you my solemn pledge, to summon our courage to raise our hope and to build our confidence.

My grandfather Rodolfo came to New York almost 100 years ago.

He came here with $20 in his pocket.

Like so many of you and your ancestors he knew fear---fear of a strange land, fear of learning to speak a new language, fear of the unknown. But he didn't let any of that stop him.

He dreamed that life could be better for him--and his children in New York City and he lived that dream.

Now it's time for us to overcome the fear, the doubts, and the cynicism.

Dream with me of a city better than the one we have been given.

Believe with me that our problems can be reduced, not magically removed.

Plan with me to make the realistic changes that will actually make people's lives better than they are.

And work with me to apply these plans to improve our city. Dream, believe, plan and work--this is the foundation for the process of change.

I ask you to give me a chance to make change happen for us.

Don't let those who are so fearful of transformation void the process before it begins killing ideas by fear.

Despite the tough and difficult steps I must take to remove our structural deficit, and I will take them still we can dream about, and believe in, and plan and work for an invigorated economy built on New York City's magnets. Those magnets draw more people here than any other city in the world and will be the basis for our economic and social renewal.

Look anew at our cultural, artistic, and fashion institutions.

They are not only part of the heart and soul of our city, but also they are important industries that will and must grow to create more jobs.

Look anew at Broadway, the opera, the ballet, the museums and the fashion industry as powerful magnets drawing people and commerce to our city.

We must expand them all and as they grow more New Yorkers will go back to work.

It should be so and it will be.

New York City has the very best health care institutions in America, but we are not thought of, and promoted as America's health care capital.

It should be so and it will be.

We are the home over 100 institutions of higher learning in every field. We have some of the greatest schools in the world.

People come here to be educated from all over the world. Yet we don't think of New York as a college and university town.

It should be so and it will be.

We have never effectively utilized our unique position as home for the United Nations.

The politics of the cold war and strong disagreements over past policies prevented it.

But that's behind us.

It's time to enhance our relationship with the United Nations. Albany is the capital of New York State, Washington, D.C. the capital of the Nation. And New York City will again be the capital of the world.

It should be so and it will be. As Mayor of this city I can reach out to every part of our world.

My message will be clear.

If you come here to live, if you do business here, if you visit here you can find people who speak your language, even your dialect, who share your religion, and care about and treasure your tradition and culture.

Today, we extend our hand to all. It is extended in friendship, and in love to New Yorkers of every race, religion, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation.

I know your diversity. I respect it. I see it as a source of our strength. And I see us as New Yorkers sharing common interests and common bonds.

Each of you has an equal claim on me to apply one standard of fairness, to work hard and to persevere to reduce the city's problems. Each of us also has a claim on each other to look beyond our perceived differences to see our more important similarities.

All of us sharing in this time, and in this place, our opportunity to write the history of this City. I am confident today.

I know something about you--as New Yorkers that you may not appreciate about yourselves. I know how strong, daring, intelligent, and hard working you the people of New York City really are.

Nothing is beyond our grasp. Your strength was demonstrated within sight of this place, last year at the World Trade Center.

Six lives were tragically lost in the bombing, but not one life lost because of the evacuation.

It was a day in which 50,000 New Yorkers took charge of themselves and each other, showing on their own even before any city worker could help them that New Yorkers of the 1990's have the same ingenuity, sensitivity, talent and courage that our ancestors had in building our great city.

And when the fire fighters, the police officers, emergency service workers, doctors, nurses and others arrived to provide assistance they carried on the evacuation begun by New Yorkers on their own and showed that those who work for our city are the most professional and best in the nation.

What we witnessed was a clear demonstration of the spirit that permeates New York City.

When things are bad, when times are tough, New Yorkers prove they are better and tougher.

The New York spirit that brought us through the World Trade Center crisis including putting it back in operation so quickly against all obstacles was a demonstration of the courage and ingenuity we must apply to: restoring public safety; saving our schools; creating jobs; controlling our budget and long-term structural deficit and, improving the quality of life. All of these things and more are priorities for the new administration.

But beyond the policies, the legislation, the budget readjusting and government redefining it's to a even deeper spirit we now call.

It's a call to the innermost spirit of New York which says our problems may be big, but our people are bigger.

Problems are challenges to do better

and prove just how talented, courageous and exceptional the people of New York City really are.

In that spirit, New York City is once again beginning to set the agenda, rather than having to look elsewhere for innovation.

And, we have only just begun.

Our city has never had as bipartisan a government as we have put together.

Democrats and Republicans are working as one at the highest levels of government, as are people who voted for and against me, and people of all different backgrounds.

They were chosen in our belief that they can best carry out the necessary changes.

A campaign promise of political fusion made and kept.

Our approach to gun licensing has already been cited approvingly by the President and the Attorney General.

The Governor and I are in agreement on many of the measures needed to reduce violent crime, including an end to the early release of certain violent offenders.

And, consensus is developing around the need to reduce the hotel occupancy tax as a way to boost the economy and create more jobs.

And, we have established a Regional Council to work together with counties around New York City to advance our mutual interests.

What it's all about is New York City--all five boroughs--again becoming the center of innovation and change.

But we are in this together.

That's why we need Staten Island to stay with us.

The people of Staten Island are an integral part of the city and a pillar of our strength.

We need you.

Give me a chance to show you how a city government interested in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, as much as Manhattan, can make a difference in your lives. Change in many forms is coming to our city.

But it must be built around respect for the law and justice. American cities cannot survive if they remain so violent. For that reason, I say enough is enough.

Our priority must be to reduce the violence. I will place a much greater emphasis on stricter enforcement of the law to reverse the growing trend of ever increasing tolerance for lawless behavior.

I will work for changes in policing and in criminal justice which will redress the present lack of balance between the rights of victims an potential victims and the scope given to predators.

Guns--the handguns--will be a particular source of our efforts. If we have in the words of Senator Moynihan defined deviancy down, now we will instead raise standards and have greater expectations for people's behavior.

Much also has to be done about the underlying causes of crime. This will be a important a part of my administration as respect for the law.

We must give the hopeless hope, particularly the children. Each child is important to us because they are our future.

Our school system and our social programs must be made more effective so that they may once again offer the realistic possibility of life improving for all of us. The greatest measure of our own decency is the help we give to those most in need but the help we give must be realistic.

And we must have the courage to face our failures, not repeat our mistakes because lives hang in the balance.

As we step into the future, the indomitable spirit of LaGuardia will infuse our city. The common sense approach of Ed Koch will echo again.

I ask of you what I will demand of myself: greet tomorrow with a determined capacity to overcome any problem. Work with me to demonstrate that there is no force sufficiently powerful to interrupt us as we scale new heights as a people and as a city.

In doing so we will remove the grip of unwelcome legacies and provide an administration of new beginnings.

Our success is critical to ourselves, to the state and the nation. It is in our common interest to emerge successfully.

That was the unmistakable mandate you gave me--and the one that I pledge to fulfill.

On the second day of January of 1994, I dedicate my administration to you--the people of New York.

May God bless each one of us as we prepare to give our children a stronger, healthier city.

It should be so and it will be.



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