Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, November 1, 1999

New York City Charter Revision: Making Proven Reforms Permanent
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This Tuesday, New Yorkers have a chance to make permanent many of the remarkable successes our City has enjoyed over the past six years. Fourteen proposed changes to the City Charter-all designed to ensure that New York City never returns to the days of high crime, high taxes, and cyclical bankruptcy-will be on the ballot. I urge all New Yorkers to get out and vote… and to vote "yes" to these important changes.

A "yes" vote will help cement our City's gains in improving public safety… because one of the reforms is a tough gun-safety provision that will require trigger locks on all guns purchased in New York City, and impose strict penalties for failure. There's also a provision creating "gun free" safety zones around every school, giving us tough new tools to protect our children from gun violence. This is an issue that transcends politics. It's a moral imperative.

A "yes" vote will also strengthen the City's ability to fight organized crime by creating an Organized Crime Commission as a permanent part of City Government. That commission will continue the efforts that have already rooted out mafia influence at the Fulton Fish Market and in the private carting industry, restoring genuine competition for legitimate businesses and saving New Yorkers $750 million per year. And a "yes" vote on Charter revision is a vote against domestic violence, because one proposed change will make the City's Commission to Combat Family Violence-which has increased enforcement of domestic violence crimes and improved the coordination of victims' services-a permanent Charter agency.

A "yes" vote also helps children. In its four years of existence, the Administration for Children's Services has vastly improved child welfare and facilitated more than 11,000 adoptions. Charter revision will make ACS a permanent City agency.

There are also important provisions related to the City's budget. Over the past six years, we've restored our City's fiscal health by ending the rollercoaster cycle of free spending, bankruptcy, bailout, and more free spending that plunged the City into one fiscal crisis after another. The result is a healthy, business-friendly economy that is creating jobs at a record rate. A "yes" vote on Charter revision will help our economic growth continue by imposing some permanent, much needed fiscal discipline on City Government.

I can't stress the word "permanent" enough. I'm often asked how we can make our City's tremendous gains over the past six years permanent. The Charter reforms you are being asked to vote on have been designed with nothing else in mind: making proven reforms permanent. Legislation and executive orders can easily be changed. But Charter provisions cannot be reversed unless you, the voters, say so. We've come a long way as a City since the early 1990s. Let's help ensure we never go back. Vote "yes" on Charter Revision.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a safe and a happy Halloween… and I want to congratulate the New York Yankees-the best baseball team in the world and the best American sports team of the century-for winning their remarkable 25th World Championship and third championship in four years. They are truly the pride of New York City. This is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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