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Transcript: Mayor Adams Delivers Remarks Kicking Off “We ♥ NYC” Campaign With Governor Hochul And Business, Labor, And Community Leaders

March 20, 2023

Steve Swartz, President and CEO, Hearst Corporation: … Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. Lucky Chops performs in the subways as part of the MTA's Music Underground, and you'll hear more about that in a few minutes, so thank them very much. I'm Steve Swartz, chief executive of the Hearst Corporation, immediate past co-chairman of the Partnership for New York City, and the incoming chair of Lincoln Center. We are gathered in Times Square today to launch a two-year campaign that will celebrate everything that is great about New York City starting with all of you, the people who live and work here. New York thrives when we all come together for a common goal, and that means all five boroughs, business and labor, civic and community groups all dedicated to a shared purpose, which is to keep New York the safest, cleanest, and most exciting and creative city in the world. Thank you.

We thank the Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance for producing this event and for all they do to support our city. Yes, let's give them a hand. We thank those who have lit up Times Square with the message that we love New York City. And as it says on One Times Square, we New Yorkers move up, not out. I want to recognize the marketing team that put this campaign together and to thank them for a fabulous job. Maryam Banikarim, Andy Lerner, Debbie Getz, and the two agencies, the Grain Group and Founders. Let's give them a strong hand. Thank you very much. Finally, a special thanks, as always, to the incomparable Kathy Wylde, CEO of the Partnership, for bringing this whole effort together.

Many other businesses and building owners will be bringing this message to neighborhoods in every borough and spread it across the city and the globe. This is only the beginning. Now let me introduce the leaders of state and city government who are our partners in this campaign. First up, our governor. Governor, thank you so much for allowing us to use the iconic I Love New York logo. Thank you for your leadership and your tireless support of our city, and thank you for being with us here today. Please welcome the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul.

Governor Kathy Hochul: Good to see you, Steven. Anybody here love New York City? Oh, we sure do. We sure do. Yes, you can borrow the state's logo. You are part of New York State. Enjoy it. But I'll be introducing our mayor in just a minute. But I want to thank Steve and Kathy, at the Partnership, for having the vision to say, "Yes, this is our moment to declare we are back, but to celebrate who we are." And I also want to thank Janno Lieber. I'll be talking about an initiative we're doing at the MTA shortly. Thank you, Janno, for being part of almost all the way back to pre-Covid ridership. We need a few more people to take the subway. We can do this. We can get there. We're making great progress. Hope Knight is also the commissioner of Empire State Development.

Listen, everybody. 1970s, most of you don't even remember it. Okay, that's fine. But look in your history books. This city was under siege. They couldn't even keep the lights on. Literally the power was going out nonstop. There was talk about a bankruptcy. People didn't come here, people left here. Crime was at record levels. And a couple of people, one of them a state employee who worked for the Department of Commerce, came up with an idea. What if we had a logo, a campaign that celebrated the love people have for this state, reminding them of what there is to love about New York? And so the I Love New York campaign was launched. And I want to thank William Doyle and his... I don't know if William Doyle is still with us, but he and Milton Glaser came up with the I Love New York iconic symbol that says to the rest of the world we are the coolest place on the planet to live. I think that's pretty much well known.

But also it's a way to remind people what our $85 billion tourism industry is all about. People come here for that connection with other people, the finest restaurants in the world, the electricity, what Broadway is all about. I was here Thursday night seeing the opening of Parade. My god, it took me an hour to get down the street. It was so crowded here. I loved it. I loved it. The energy is back. But also, we're also getting safer. And thank you, mayor, for working with us and working with the NYPD to make this the safest big city in America. Check the facts. It's true. But we're not finished yet. And so many small businesses and restaurants that were just slammed during the pandemic, they are back. But it's up to all of us to embrace this moment, just as they seized the moment in the seventies, or after 9/11. We were knocked down so hard. People met the moment.

My friends, this is our chance in this post-pandemic world for us to be defined about how we meet this moment. This campaign, it's not just words, although they look fabulous. It's not just a slogan. It's not a logo. It's a spirit. It's a spirit that needs to come alive through every one of us in how we treat each other, the public service that we can all be capable of, the civic service, how we can take care our parks, how we can help each other, how we can volunteer again, show what we're really all about.

And I'm so excited to announce that this campaign has been launched, but also what we're doing, the MTA. It's all about music too. We love our music here. And we're in our subways. I think a little bit of music lifts the spirit. Am I right about that? We need to hear some music in the subways. I want to thank Janno Lieber and everybody for launching Music Under New York. The riders, that's why you have to take the subway, you have a chance to vote on the music that you'll be hearing. So we’ll be launching information about that as well. And we’re deciding which artists actually perform on the subways. Let's leave it up to the people who are affected the most. Let’s do that. We’ll be partnering also to create videos, and so there's a lot going on. It's a little chilly today. I'm from Buffalo. I don't really think it's that cold, but some of you tell me it’s cold.

But I love this city. The rest of us love this city. Now let's show our love for this city. So there's no question that the spirit is here. I Love New York was a message to the rest of the world. We Love New York City is a message to all of you, to the people who have stayed here, who never gave up, who do believe that New York City's greatest days do lie ahead. And we are there, my friends. Let's make it happen. And with that, let me introduce you to the leader of the greatest city on this planet, Mayor Eric Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams: Oh man. Only two types of people on the globe: those who live in New York and those who wish they could. New York City. Look at the record. The record is clear. Not only do we love New York, we love our governor, a real leader of this state. Thank you for what you're doing all night during difficult times, navigating us through. Let's look at the record. Great Depression. The country was unsure in the direction that it was headed. And one year we built the Empire State Building to show the grit and grind and resiliency of not only this great city, but this great country. 9/11, 2001, everyone was unsure of what was going to happen as we saw our center of trade collapse, and we wondered what happened. We were hit in the gut. But something happened on 9/12. You know what? We got up. Teachers taught, builders built, retailers sold their goods. And those who thought we were going to run and flee, we said, "Not New York City." We're straight ahead and our resiliency showed the entire country what we're capable of doing.

Covid hit our city, devastated us. It wasn't terrorism, but it was terror. Lost jobs. The economy. Subway system was in decay and uncertainty. People lost loved ones and family members. We are now at that moment again. The history we've always shown — the way goes New York, goes America. So, this slogan, this movement of We Love New York is saying we love each other, and we love our country. Only country on the globe where dream is attached to its name. I know you come from all over, but there's no German dream, no Polish dream, no French dream. But darn it, there's an American dream.

And that dream starts right here in New York City. The diversity. People come from all over. Nowhere else. There's a Statue of Liberty, sits in the harbor. Nowhere else does the United Nations stand on the East Side. Nowhere else do you have Broadway. Nowhere else you can come and walk through the streets to see the diversities of restaurants, of hotels. What we are doing today with the Partnership — and let's give it up again for Kathy. Where's Kathy? Come on up here, Kathy. Come on. I know you don't like the stage.

This is Kathy Wylde of the Partnership. All of our corporations coming together and stating, "This is our city." People think they can break New Yorkers. No, you can't because it is here where dreams are born. It is here where you can go from being a dishwasher and own a multitude of restaurants. It is here when you can be a worker in the mailroom and move on to become the mayor of the city. It is here where you can be a dishwasher, a cook, a cleaner, and aspire to be whatever you want to be. Only in New York City. That's what this movement is about, New York, it is reigniting our spirit. And people wonder all the time, why you walking around so happy? Because I know this city. I know what we're capable of. No one will ever beat New Yorkers down. And we took the “I” out of I love New York, and we brought the “we.” We're in this together.

When we start volunteering at a soup kitchen like I do every Wednesday night at 9 PM and help fellow New Yorkers who are homeless or don't have a meal, it is the most rewarding experience I ever have. When we go to a homeless shelter and help a young person who does not have a home and housing insecurity, you walk out of that place, and you turn your key and you feel better about the fact that you have a home. When we go to a senior center, and seniors are lonely and they just want you to come and read to them, you start to reflect on your grandmother and grandparents. When you donate time to each other, you are donating into the social bank of life and you will be able to draw in the equity when you need it, when you are going to a difficult moment.

One hour a week with 8.5 million New Yorkers, we would turn around this entire city. New York is not coming back. New York is back. New York is back. 99 percent of the 957,000 jobs we lost, 99 percent are coming back. 56 million tourists last year. 65 million tourists this year. And all of you who are tourists, raise your hand. Spend money, spend money, spend money. That's what we want you to do. Spend money.

Subways are becoming safer because of the amazing subway safety plan that the governor has partnered with us to do and Janno Lieber and the entire MTA crew is taking place. NYPD is making us safer every day. Decreases in homicide, decrease in shootings. Crime is going down. Our economy is recovering. Don't believe the hype, believe in NYC. This is the greatest city on the globe, the center of the universe. And if this is the greatest city, then what does it say about the people? We're the greatest people on the globe. We are in the words of the Snapple soft drink, we're great because we're made of the best stuff on earth. We're New Yorkers. We love New York.

Swartz: Thank you very much, mayor. Thank you, Governor Hochul. Thank you everybody for being here.

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