Thank you very much. I have to correct something that was said during my introduction. I'm actually not a hard-core, life-long Republican. I began my life as nothing really. When you're first born, you are neither a Republican, nor a Democrat. Most people in Congress don't accept that. I registered originally as a Democrat, and then I became an independent and then I registered Republican. I think it is very important for a Mayor in particular to be independent, especially the Mayor of a very large city.
I remember when I was running for Mayor and thinking about the history of New York City. It always appeared to me that the City of New York traditionally did better when the Mayor was somewhat unpredictable, when the Mayor was not a complete captive of one political party or the other. And I thought in this century, the two Mayors that seemed to me to have the most success in representing the interests of this city were Fiorello LaGuardia and Ed Koch. Not that I agree with Ed Koch much anymore, but I think he was an excellent Mayor of New York City, in part because he was independent. Fiorello Laguardia was actually the last Republican Mayor to be reelected as a Republican Mayor of New York City. But he occasionally supported Democrats when he thought it was in the best interests of this city. In fact, he supported Franklin Roosevelt in at least one or possibly two of his attempts to be reelected as President. Occasionally, he would support Democratic candidates for Congress, although most often he would support Republicans. Ed Koch's career reflects the same inclination. Koch was a Democrat and had been a Democratic member of Congress. But when he thought it was wise, sensible, and would place him in a better position to negotiate for the interests of the city, he would feel free to support a Republican. He did precisely that with Al D'Amato in 1986, even though he was a Democrat, elected Mayor of New York City. But the reason I think being somewhat independent is so important has nothing to do with the interest it generates politically. Rather, when you're the Mayor of a city, more than any other elected position - even governor of a state - you have to work with both political parties. Political power in America is apportioned between Democrats and Republicans, and correspondingly, you are going to have Republicans and Democrats in important positions.
As the Mayor of New York City, I have to deal with a Republican governor, a Senate with a Republican majority, but an Assembly with a Democratic majority. Of course, the President is a Democrat and the two Houses of Congress are Republican controlled. It makes sense then to be unpredictable. To be locked into partisan politics doesn't permit you to think clearly.
American cities back in the late 1980's and early 1990's were in terrible trouble and facing difficulties. In fact, they were even perceived to be in worse difficulty than they actually were. Magazine articles were written about how cities were declining, how cities were finished. There was a front page of Newsweek magazine that was devoted to how New York City was potentially a rotting apple. There were local magazines that echoed the same sentiment. The cities had lost their ability to be meaningful players in government and certainly had no capacity to effect the lives of the people who lived in them in a positive way. During that period, New York City would often be described as unmanageable or ungovernable. The sentiment was largely considered accepted political wisdom. Those words were invoked to describe New York City throughout the 1970's, into the 1980's, and through the early part of the 1990's. It reflected itself in both reality and perception. In reality, in the late 1980's and early 1990's, the city was going through a terrible time. It was setting records for murder. Between 1990 and 1993, New York City averaged 2,000 murders a year. There is no other year in history in which New York City ever reached a number like even the lowest number of murders between 1990 and 1993. The city also faced mounting problems in others areas beyond crime. Between 1990 and 1993, we lost 320,000 private sector jobs, the greatest job loss we had experienced since the Depression.
Whether it was a combination of appearance, reality, or both, the sense of American cities was that they had reached their apex and that the most effective things happening were happening outside of cities. It troubled me greatly when I ran for Mayor of New York City because I thought it wasn't an adequate reflection of the capacity of a city like New York. Or, more broadly, of the role of cities in civilization. Historically, cities have really marked our culture. Cities determine to a very large extent what people think of us 50 or 100 years later. Athens had started in before Greece. Rome came before Italy, and the city-states of the Renaissance existed before there was a nation of Italy. For instance, I think more people think of Paris when they think of France than they think of France as a nation. The French government acknowledges that fact and does so by subsidizing Paris very heavily because as Paris goes, so does the French economy.
There is an enormous purpose that cities serve. Without in any way minimizing the contributions other municipalities make to this country, it really is in cities that our culture developed. It is in cities in which the shows are performed that are performed 50 to 100 years later. It is in cities that the operas are performed that people have performed for 300 years. And it's largely in cities where a culture defines itself. In essence, a city is where people of talent, people of creativity in all different fields can come together. It seemed to me when I was running for Mayor that the real art of being Mayor of New York City was to bring that talent, that intelligence, to bear on problems. And even though we might have the biggest problems because we have the biggest population - seven and a half million people - we probably have the most talent and the most capacity to solve those problems.
Now, it's three and a half years later. Unlike the soaring murder rates of five years ago, we have the lowest level of crime since the 1960's. This year, we expect the level of crime will drop even further. The question many now are asking is, why did this happen? There are any number of explanations for it, but I'm going to discuss four of the underlying reasons and a challenge that lies ahead. To me, there is one overriding principle that has been the driving force for all of our successes - the major reduction in crime, the substantial reduction in the number of people on welfare, the large increase in the number of jobs, and the turnaround in performance in the school system - and that is, the principle of accountability.
Accountability translates to a government that is willing to be measured. It means a government that is willing to set forth standards of performance so that other people can measure whether or not it has developed a correct standard or whether or not, according to those standards, it is achieving or failing. Government in New York City had been, for most of the last two or three decades, unaccountable, meaning no one was measuring its performance. When government becomes unaccountable, there really is no performance to measure. This is particularly true for government at a local level, which concerns itself with the delivery of municipal services even more so than a state or federal government. Governments are not businesses. Businesses have a fairly simple measure--it can be very complex depending on what you do with this measure--but a simple measure of telling you whether you're going in the right direction or the wrong direction; you're either making a profit, a big one, a small one, or you are experiencing a loss. And, the fact is that governments don't have that kind of measure of performance. So, you have to build that type of measure in.
The change that took place in the New York City Police Department is that everyday, crime is now measured statistically. Every day, through the COMPSTAT program, the Police Department registers the number of crimes that took place that day. The statistics enable them to figure out everyday what their performance at the end of the year is going to be. And then if problems begin to emerge, like an increase in the number of shootings, or an increase in the number of car thefts, or an increase in the number of property crimes, somebody can address that problem before it becomes much bigger. Not a year later, or half a year later, but the next day. Our approach is essentially about managing the police department the way you would manage a bank or a business with a lot of branch offices. If you were to manage a bank with 76 branches everyday, you would get a profit and loss statement from the bank. Everyday you would get a sense of the amount of loans that were made--were they profitable or weren't they? After a week or so, you would see branches that were going in the wrong direction, and then you would take management action to try to reverse the trend. That is precisely what is happening in the police department. And that's what accounts for this massive decline in overall crime by 44 percent, the decline in the homicides rate by 60 percent.
But there is something else that is involved and it has to do with the art of governing a hopeful government, determining the right measure of success that gets you exactly at the point as to what the public expects from that unit of government or that particular subdivision. For the police department, it took a long time to arrive at. Most people thought a police department should be measured by the number of arrests that it made. Accordingly, police officers that made a lot of arrests were the good police officers, the police officers that didn't were the lazy police officers. When considering whether to promote a police officer, you simply figured out how many arrests they had made. But the fact is arrests are one measure away from the practical outcome that people really want from a police department. People don't just want criminals arrested, they want no crime. They want a situation in which there is no reason to arrest people. The real measure of success or failure is the degree to which you are preventing crime. How much are you reducing it? This approach has had an enormous impact on the reduction of crime in this city. The important thing about this to consider, which provides a sense of how the principal of accountability works, is what this reduction in crime means for the average citizen.
The reduction in crime means that you are actually vindicating the most important civil right that a person can have. Because before you can enjoy any other civil rights, you have to be alive, you have to be able to walk around a city not afraid to be beaten, mugged, raped or violated. You have to have a sense of at least a reasonable degree of personal security. I once said this in the first three or four weeks that I was in office as Mayor. I said the most fundamental of civil rights is the guarantee that government can give you a reasonable degree of safety. I was very heavily criticized by the people who used to run New York City government because they said I really didn't understand civil rights. I thought their criticism aptly describes the philosophical difference of my approach and those of my predecessors.
The fact is that all the civil rights that we posses -the right to travel, interstate commerce, the right to a public education--all of those rights are essentially meaningless if you are afraid to exercise those rights. For those who need a principled basis for this philosophy, or perhaps something more fundamental than just my analysis, that's of course the guarantee in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States. The guarantee of domestic protection and the guarantee of domestic tranquillity. Fundamentally, that's the reason people established governments even before there was the type of national governments that we have today. It's the reason people banded together to offer protection for themselves against all the vagaries of life. And once they could achieve that reasonable degree of security and protection, they could move on to creating books and great art and recognizing rights that existed between and among them.
In actuality, as a city becomes more dangerous, people basically lose their freedom and independence. And as a city becomes safer, a new spirit takes hold, as individuals feel safe from victimization. More people become, in a very real sense, free. They become independent, and not in just a theoretical way. They become free in society to make the choices they would like to make about their lives and that in turn unleashes a spirit of optimism. A really wonderful spirit of people having a sense that they now have more control over their own lives. The same spirit applies to the transformation in the welfare system. New York City, four, five, six years ago, was perceived as a crime capital in America. I remember being in London in 1990 when I was giving lectures on securities law. After I finished the discussion, all of the questions asked were about how dangerous New York City was at the time, such as, 'Can you really come to the City of New York?' Somebody showed me a piece of paper that had ten tips on how not to be the victim of a crime if you come to New York City. Of course, that's not a great advertisement for somebody coming to a city.
Going back to the 1960's, the City of New York inextricably was a city in which increasing numbers of people were dependent on the government to support them. And for the four or five years beginning in 1989, there was a massive increase in the number of people on welfare. There are two ways to view that. One way to view it is that it meant there were more people in need who were getting help from the government, and on a technical basis, that's correct. But the longer term way of viewing that, which the city wasn't doing, was that this is an alarming thing to have happened to your city. This is the kind of thing that should set off bells and whistles, forcing the question, what are we going to do about that?
Well, basically what was going on in the City of New York between 1989 and 1993 was that people in large numbers, 100,000 more, then 150,000 more, then 200,000 more, and 250,000 more people a year were becoming dependent upon the government to support them. This is a city in which we have a population of 7.5 million. When you start getting 1.1 to 1.2 to 1.3 million people on welfare, you're starting to increase the number of people that are dependent on the smaller number of people working to support them. In addition to all of the other things that that can do to a society, consider what it does to the individual. When a person is supported by the state, the city, or another person, and that situation is perpetuated over an extended period of time, it can be very difficult for that person to develop the sense of self-esteem and self-worth that most of us aspire to achieve.
When you have a city that's moving in the direction of two to three hundred thousand more people dependent on others to support them, you have a city that is moving towards more anger, more despair, and more unhappiness. When you begin to reverse that, you have a city in which large numbers of people are moving away from the city government for support and they are moving towards independence. And now you have a city that is moving towards more hope, more optimism, more of a sense that individuals can make choices for themselves rather than relying on someone else to support them.
I have a lot of disputes and a lot of difficulties with parts of the federal reform law. I agree with some of it, I disagree with some of it, and I have recommended to the President that he veto it--not that he would take my recommendation. But I will tell you how we approach welfare reform in New York City. It is far simpler. The way we approach welfare reform in New York City has two components. It obviously can become more involved because we're dealing with, or we were dealing with, over a million people. Now it's more like 850,000 people. First, we make sure that somebody is actually, honestly qualified for the benefits and isn't cheating or exaggerating. If you are qualified for the benefits, you'll get the benefits. The second thing we do is say, if you are able bodied, and you don't have very young children, and you can't find a job, we will put you to work. We will find work for you. We have put some 200,000 people through our workfare program. What they do is work to improve the qualify-of-life for their fellow citizens. The combination of the things I have talked about--accountability, measuring whether a recipient is truly entitled, restoring work as part of their lives and constantly reinforcing the work ethic--has meant a reduction of 300,000 people on welfare and 200,000 people going through the Work Experience Program.
Those numbers tell about a major turnaround, maybe more significant than the turnaround with crime. But it represents something even more fundamental about society. Unlike what the city was doing four or five years ago, now thousands of times a month, hundreds of thousands of times over two and half years, New York City reinforces the social contract. And the social contract says that if you want something, you have to give something. If you have a right, there is a duty that goes along with that right. If you get a benefit, there's an obligation that goes along with that benefit. Rather than being captured by the politically correct notion of what compassion means, I don't believe it is compassionate to have people supported by other people for long periods of time, sometimes extending into a second and third generation. I don't believe it is compassionate to think that you are doing something loving and caring or good for that person. I think if you thought about it in terms of your family members, you would realize how thoughtless, and in some ways, how cruel, that approach is. People should be given an opportunity to take care of themselves or should be given an opportunity to realize what they can do for themselves. And people have to be kept in the workforce for as long as you possibly can and return to the workforce as quickly as they possibly can in order to reinforce the social contract. If you let people drop out of the workforce, for long periods of time, you run the risk that that's going to spread to the next generation, and so on. And you also run the risk that you are going to do tremendous damage to their personality and their ability to feel good about themselves.
Now we have a city that has introduced the principle of accountability into how we deal with welfare and as result, more people have been given freedom from dependence. People on welfare really aren't free. People on welfare certainly can't feel the personal fulfillment of being able to move towards taking care of themselves, and then the next step, that goes beyond taking care of yourself, is when you can take care of someone else, whether its a family, or friend, or a neighbor. Then you can truly feel self fulfillment.
The third part is the turnaround in jobs, closely connected to the turnaround in welfare. The City of New York, between 1990 and 1993, had lost 320,000 jobs. The process by which a city loses jobs and how a city creates jobs, is even more complex than crime or welfare. Because a city doesn't really employ people. People are employed largely in the private sector. Honestly, what a city can do, and if a city wants to take accountability for this, it can promote policies and programs that encourage job creation or it can have policies and programs that destroy job creation. In New York City, we had a 40 to 50 year long history of having a political climate that was very anti-business. The sense was that business was bad, that there was something less moral about pursuing a profit than being in a non-profit institution. Or that there was something less moral about pursuing the profit than being in government. That view lead to many different manifestations in politics, which was to burden businesses as much as possible. It was good politics. Everybody agreed with that. And we ended up with a city that had the highest burden of taxation of any in the country and the highest burden of regulation in the country.
We had something else that I learned about in my job before being Mayor; we had organized crime, which exacted its own tax, a tax that never even got to the government of the City of New York. When I became Mayor of New York City, I decided that we had to change that and we had to change that abruptly. We needed to go through a period of time in which the Mayor was not afraid to say, despite the political ramifications of it, and the sense of political correctness, that this was all wrong. The Mayor of New York City had to say over and over again, New York City is now going to be a pro-business city--a city that is pro-jobs. The Mayor had to say that if we can't keep businesses here and if we can't attract businesses here, than all of the promises that we are making to poor people are absolutely empty promises. Government can't employ everyone--government can't employ seven and a half million people. You need an atmosphere in which large businesses, medium sized businesses, and small businesses are going to provide jobs for people. And if we really mean that we want people to be free and independent, then we want people to have jobs. Because a job is better than any social program invented by the state government or local government. What that should mean in terms of sensible local government policy is to have policies that stabilize the businesses you have and to make your community, your jurisdiction, your city, an attractive place to put a business.
At a time of grave fiscal concern, we cut taxes. We cut it modestly the first year, because we couldn't afford to cut it as much as we would have liked. But I felt it was really important the first year I was Mayor to cut a tax. Nobody ever cut a tax before in New York City and that was one of the reasons I wanted to set a new precedent. Now, I have actually set a record for cutting taxes--I think I did with the first tax I cut--but now we have cut a lot of taxes, hundreds of millions of dollars, and returned that money to the private sector. These cuts have allowed businesses to stabilize so that they could have more disposable income to rebuild their businesses or to employ more people. I have to honestly say that we're no more than a third of the way through trying to reduce the burdens of regulations. Instead of businesses being required to obtain 15 or 20 permits, try to lower it to one or two or three. We continue to work towards that goal.
We also took on organized crime in a very aggressive way. Particularly, removing its influence from the carting industry, where we were able to put back in the hands of businesses as much as $500 million more, a figure that could grow to over a billion dollars in future years. All of that is being done for the purpose of trying to readjust the balance between a government that was too large and a private sector that was too small. To rein government in, we cut 24,000 government jobs. Government grew to its largest size in 1993 and the private sector was shrinking to its smallest since the depression. We have reduced the size of government, and reinvested that in the private sector so that the private sector could start growing again. We have replaced the loss of 320,000 private sector jobs with a growth of 170,000 jobs. That restored a good many of the jobs that were lost during previous administrations and each year, as the impact of these economic policies have an effect on the economy, the growth has gotten larger and larger. This year, the City of New York experienced its largest job growth in 13 years, another part of the re-defining of the city. The creations of jobs also has had an impact on the spirit of this city.
Just like with welfare, when you have a city that is losing 320,000 jobs, you have a city of despair. You have a city in which the general civic sense is that of people with their heads down, worrying about what job will be eliminated next. People asking questions like, are we going to be able to keep the Mercantile Exchange, are we going to be able to keep the advertising industry and are we going to be able to keep the law firms here? It creates a sense of civic despair. On the other hand, when you put your finger on the dike and stop the job hemorrhaging, people start to see growth, and they start to see new businesses coming in. They see the Mercantile Exchange getting built in New York rather than moving. And then you start to see a spirit of hope and a spirit of optimism. I think that's what lies behind US News and World Reports' cover of last month, titled: "New York, Comeback City". It is a city in which people feel a sense that there is a chance. A chance that not only are they going to get better jobs, but that things are going to get better for them because they see that happening for other people.
The final area I want to discuss is education, because it is the most difficult of all and it's the most important of all. Education has a massive impact on the future of the city. As I said, the City of New York has embraced a culture of accountability, and is moving towards a culture of performance. It isn't all the way there yet, but it's moving in that direction. But the historic lack of unaccountability in New York City probably applied most to the public education system, which is huge and beyond the scale of any public education system in the country--a million students and over a thousand schools. To have an impact on it takes a remarkable degree of management skill and leadership. What we have been able to do in the last year is to introduce those principles of accountability into the education system. We were able to change the law in New York State for the first time in 28 years so that the person who runs the New York City school system, the chancellor, was given the opportunity to select the superintendents who run the 32 districts. Now, you can get a sense of why it was a system of unaccountability. Imagine for a moment I select you to run the New York City school system, and I put you in charge of it, and you say to me 'I'm going to change it, I want to improve it. I want to have reading scores go up. I want to have math scores go up. I want the schools to be safer. I want to see more children graduate and I want to see less of a drop-out rate. And I want to accomplish that over the next five years and I'm going start by changing the culture, changing some of the people.' And then I say to you, 'Oh by the way, one little problem with your job: you can't move anybody, they all have to stay there.' And then you say to me, 'Well, you mean the ones who haven't seen an improvement in reading scores for ten years, their kids are reading more poorly, their math scores are going down, crime is going up in their schools--I can't move them!' And I would say, 'that's right. You have to make all of these miraculous changes for me, but you can't touch anybody. They are all stuck there. And you have nothing to say about whether they are selected or not.'
Well, we changed that last year and it has had a dramatic impact. The chancellor was given the power to remove corrupt and incompetent school boards and the chancellor was given the power to select superintendents. Superintendents then understood that they were now accountable. When the chancellor called up before, they could just not return the telephone call. Now when the chancellor calls up, they better return the phone call, because next year, they might be gone if they don't. And they began to understand that they were going to get measured by performance. Are the kids reading better? Are the kids adding and subtracting better? And if they are not, why not? And then one other thing that is enormously important, almost more important than even the COMPSTAT program...It's called school based budgeting. School based budgeting means, simply, figuring out how much money it costs to run a school, which was never done before and the reason why the system was totally unaccountable. They knew how much money it took to run the large system. It used to be roughly 7 billion, 7.5 billion, 8, 8.5 and now its 9.1 billion dollars. That's what it took to run the whole system. But nobody knew how much it took to run a school. And when you don't know how much it costs to run a school, but you do know how much it cost to run a whole system, the spending of money is wildly unaccountable. It has nothing to do then with performance.
Chancellor Rudy Crew was brave enough to institute school based budgeting. It took a year and a half. It meant going to each school and trying to figure out as best as you can, how much money is going to that school. And determining if there is a correlation between performance and the spending of money. In some cases there is and in some cases, there isn't any correlation at all between the two. And then figuring out how do you rectify that. Can we get children to add better, subtract better, read better? Principles of accountability are now, over the last two years, being introduced into the New York City school system. You can already see a change in performance. You can see a change in performance systemwide. This year, reading scores went up by the largest percentage in ten years, and they went up in every district, although not nearly where they should be. But you now have a sense of a system where accountability is being built in. The culture of unaccountability is being replaced with performance.
So, what lies ahead? I think there is a great challenge that lies ahead for the City of New York if it is to retain the gains we have made--crime reduction, moving people from the dependency of welfare to a life of independence, creating more jobs and most importantly, turning around the school system. I think the biggest problem that awaits us, and the problem that government on every level has not addressed adequately, is the whole problem of drug dependency and illegal drugs. I have the statistics that absolutely startle: 60 to 70 percent of people that are arrested or in jail or prison in New York City and New York State are involved with drugs. Many of our foster children that have to be taken away from their mothers and have to be taken away from their fathers, when there are fathers, are in homes in which there is significant drug dependence and sometimes drug crime. Neighborhoods have been brought back but not enough of them. And the fact is that you are dealing again with precisely the same issue that you deal with when you allow too much crime, too many people who become dependent on the government. You have people who don't have a job and children who are not getting the education that they should get. You are dealing with precisely the same thing, which is robbing people of freedom of independence. A society in which an increasing number of people have the freedom and independence to make choices for themselves is a society that is progressive, it is a society that has a spirit of optimism, and it is a society that can accomplish a great deal. A society that has increasing numbers of people that are becoming dependent in the most basic sense, is a society that is deteriorating. We have to face up to the problem of drugs and as a society, we haven't done it. We haven't done it because we still have myths and we still tend to romanticize drugs. We haven't done it because it is a massive social problem that I believe we are now in a position to address.
I believe that we are now in a position to take all of the cynics and all of the naysayers, and all of the people that say you can't substantially and dramatically reduce the amount of drug dependents and defy them the same way we did on crime. If I were here four years ago and I told you that New York City would have a 60 percent reduction in murder, many people would say he is dreaming, he doesn't know what he is talking about. If I had ever said that there would be 320,000 fewer people on welfare, nobody would have believed me. And the fact is that you can accomplish the same dramatic results in fighting drugs--if we do it sensibly, if we do it wisely, and if we incorporate all of the things that can possibly be done. And only if we introduce a principal of accountability into it. If we use law enforcement in a sensible way to arrest people that are drug dealers, and to try to break up organizations and cartels that deal with drugs, and if we put the resources into it, I can tell you it will be successful to the extent that we have done it before. I think about a community like Bushwick in Brooklyn. I mention Bushwick because I remember this community way back in 1989 and I remember a woman being murdered there named Maria Hernandez. Maria Hernandez was murdered after she and her husband turned in local drug dealers to the police because they feared they would sell drugs to their children. One night, drug dealers came by her house, they shot her and they killed her. For seven or eight years, that community was in tremendous turmoil. In fact, I don't think it would be an overstatement to say the drug dealers were controlling the neighborhood. When young children grew up, they saw the drug dealers as their role model, not decent, honorable people who give children a sense of what they could be in their lives.
We started to turn that around in 1994, because we made a commitment to try to take every neighborhood back, block by block, from the street criminals and the drug dealers. We arrested a lot of people and a lot of drug dealers. We increased arrests for drug dealers by 65 percent in New York City in a short period of time. We invested an enormous amount of money for additional police officers. And we put particular emphasis on communities that had the worst problems.
Now it is three and a half years later. Murder in Bushwick is down 55 percent. And Bushwick, which was featured in national magazines, when Maria Hernandez was killed, as one of the worst communities in the city--perhaps one of the worst communities in the United States--was featured on Nightline several weeks ago as a model community for what can be done in an urban environment to bring a community back. All of the problems aren't gone, and all the drug dealers aren't gone. But the community is now controlled by the residents of that community, not by the drug dealers. There are children able to walk around the streets. Children are able to go to school. And there are businesses coming into the community and as a result, it is in the middle of a turnaround.
That's the kind of thing that has to happen broadly. And the barrier stopping us from going to the next level is drugs. It's the one thing that could reverse much of what we have accomplished if we don't address it correctly. And for that we need more intense, more effective law enforcement, and just as importantly, we need treatment programs that reach people. There is a sense that we have large numbers of people seeking treatment for drugs who are turned away for treatment. We don't. Most of the people who are treated for drugs are forced to be treated because they get arrested. We need to have large numbers of people seeking treatment for drugs, and we need to do things to encourage them to do so if we are going to turn around the problem. We have to get to better levels of understanding on how to conduct anti-drug education. I think some of it is done well, but some of it is done very superficially. We need to call on the federal government after having done our job effectively to make this an important part of our foreign policy, rather than a secondary, or maybe even tertiary, part of our foreign policy. After all, it has to do with the future of our children and it is just as important as international trade. And it's just as important as wars that may be going on in different parts of the world, because it has a lot to do with how productive America is going to be into the next generation and the generation after.
I think that's the challenge that lies ahead in the next two to three years. I think it is possible using the same things that have been done with regard to all of the issues I talked about to make enormous progress in reducing the number of people dependent on drugs. And I think that would be one of the most liberating and wonderful things that could happen to people in our city, particularly the poorest people in our city. Because it may be the one barrier that still exists that prevents them from feeling the full power of what it means to live in an independent city and country. Thank you very much.