Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sworn in for another four years as the Mayor of New York City yesterday, amid the crisp air, Liza with a Z!, and some protesters across Broadway. While his speech was vague in that rousing "feel good about yourself, NYC!" way, he did promise to do go after illegal guns, continue to improve the city's public school system, and start pursuing the "most ambitious" affordable housing program. It also takes advantage of how far the city has come since he first took office in the wake of September 11. Here's an excerpt:
“Our population is at an all-time high. Crime is going down; student achievement is going up; jobs are being created; new homes and parks are strengthening and revitalizing our neighborhoods.
“We’ve come a long way, and now we have a choice to make.
“We could be content with what we have accomplished, and preserve our gains, or we can take our beloved city even further forward – and make the promise of opportunity real for every person in every community.
“No one need ask which one we’ll choose.
“We are New Yorkers!
“We never stop reaching, striving, and working. We know there is more we can do, and more we must do. We know there can be no turning back. And there will be no holding back.
“United, we will take on new challenges – with the passion and dedication that New York demands of us. United, we will succeed."
You can read it here. Bloomberg also ended with an O. Henry quote that got a titter: "it was O. Henry who once wrote that, ‘New York will be a great place – if they ever finish it.’" The Daily News clocked in his speech at 19 minutes, and the NY Times' analysis says he has a "better than average" chance of reaching his "lofty goals."
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum (the second highest ranking city official now, wouldn't you know) and City Comptroller William Thompson were also sworn in again for additional terms. Watch out, as these two may be eyeing the Democratic nod for Mayor in 2009. Aside from the official business, Liza Minelli did give a great performance of New York, New York, wearing red (the Post called it a smock while the Times called it a swing coat), while there were questions about who is Bobby Murphy (Bloomberg's younger daughter Georgina's boyfriend). The Times also reported that former Mayor Dinkins was sporting some facial hair and a fedora and felt Emma Bloomberg's coat was pretty eh (Gothamist totally agrees - check it out). Ah, another four more years of Bloomberg! Bring on the quiet reveling in clubs and checkable bags on the subways.
Photograph at top of Mayor Bloomberg paying the $9 fee to file his mayoral oath from Reuters; photograph of Liza from the AP