Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications
 

Adolfo Carrión Leaves the Bronx for the White House

March 26, 2009

Borough President Adolfo Carrión took over the office in 2001. In his final State of the Borough Address, given in February 2009 at the Lehman College Center for Performing Arts, he reminisced about the developments that took place during his years as Bronx Borough President. He also said his farewell to the Bronx as he was making his way to Washington as the newly appointed White House Director of Urban Affairs.

39 Minutes 55 Seconds

This podcast is part of the "Lehman on iTunes U":

Mic

"Inspiring Talks" features faculty, guest speakers, and experts discussing their own stories of adversity and success, as well as hopeful new developments, in a variety of fields.

Subscribe to the Series

Transcript

00:00

[MUSIC]

SARAH SUMLER:

This is Sarah Sumler, a student at Lehman College.

Borough President Adolfo Carrión took over the office in 2001. Prior to his election as Borough President, he served on the New York City Council, representing the 14th Council District. He was a member of the Economic Development, Education, Higher Education, Environmental Protection, Governmental Operations, and Land Use committees.

Born in lower Manhattan, he earned his bachelor's degree at Kings College and his master's in urban planning from Hunter College. After completing his studies, he worked for the Bronx office of the Department of City Planning and later went on to become the district manager for Community Board 5.

00:47

In his final State of the Borough Address, given in February 2009 at the Lehman College Center for Performing Arts, he reminisced about the developments that took place during his years as Bronx Borough President. He also said his farewell to the Bronx as he was making his way to Washington as the newly appointed White House Director of Urban Affairs.

He is introduced by the senior U.S. Senator from New York, Charles Schumer.

01:11

CHARLES SCHUMER:

(APPLAUSE) Thank you. It is wonderful to be here today on a very auspicious occasion. And that is the State of the Borough Address by our great Borough President, Adolfo Carrión.

And I just wanna say a number of different things. It is a great day for Adolfo because he's gonna move on to even bigger and better things. (APPLAUSE) But-- and it's a great day for-- Linda and Raquel and Sarah, Olivia and Adolfo James-- as well. But let me say before I talk about why it's good for him, good for us, (LAUGHTER) and good for the country that he's moving on, let me first just commend him for the amazing legacy he has left here in the Bronx. (APPLAUSE)

And make-- (APPLAUSE) And make no mistake about it, Adolfo wouldn't have been considered or selected by President Obama for this historic position that he will assume unless he did the great job that he did in the Bronx. So all of you who worked with him and were guided by him and built the Bronx up with him are in part responsible for his being elevated to such an important position. So give yourself a round of applause as well. (APPLAUSE)

02:42

Now when Adolfo took over as Borough President, he had that can-do attitude, "Si, se puede." [TRANSLATION: "Yes, you can."] He knew that we could do it. And he did. He didn't talk about gloom and doom. He didn't talk about all the troubles. He was constantly looking for all of the good things and making them better. He focused on jobs and economic development. He focused on the schools. He focused on the great things that the Bronx has to offer and made it clear to the rest of the city, the state and the world what a great place the Bronx was and how it was becoming better and better and better.

And today when you heard the words The Bronx, you think of very good and positive things. And in good part, (APPLAUSE) that is because of what Adolfo Carrión and his predecessor who started this-- he had initials on his chair, F.F.-- I didn't have initials-- Freddy Ferrer-- had done. (APPLAUSE) And so when Adolfo called me and said that he might be considered for this position in Washington, I was so happy to be his advocate because I knew what he had done here.

And I knew that the first time that the White House would have an Office of Urban Affairs reporting directly to the President needed somebody who was both practical and visionary. And Adolfo Carrión has been both. He had a vision for the Bronx and then he had the practical good sense and nice smile that got it all done.

04:44

And let me just say that this position is more important than ever. We have a stimulus package. And it's-- for the first time in this stimulus package New York gets a lot more back than we sent to Washington. (APPLAUSE) And some of that comes back by formula. In other words, the Medicaid relief and the education money comes basically back by formula. But much of it is in the discretion of the President.

There are dollars for CDBG. There are dollars for neighborhood revitalization. There are dollars to help our schools get all of the modern technology that our young children deserve. And it will be the White House on those and many more programs that decides how the money is spent and where it goes. And guess who will be making that decision? Our Borough President, (APPLAUSE) Adolfo Carrión.

And so we say to you, Adolfo, A, we are so proud of what you have done, B, we take a great deal of pride and joy to your ascension to this historic position, and C, when you're there we know you won't forget the Bronx, New York City or New York State. To Adolfo Carrión, (APPLAUSE) congratulations on a job well done. Congratulations on even the greater historic heights you will achieve. Thank you.

06:30

ADOLFO CARRIÓN:

Thank you very much. I always feel guilty when people have to clap for that long. You're far too kind. Thank you very much. I love the Bronx. (APPLAUSE) I love New York. Wow. Now I got a bunch of stuff here, index cards, not in the order that I placed them. So that gives me an easy cop-out.

And I also wanna say a very special thank you to my good friend-- and-- an outstanding United States Senator who consistently has been with us and for us. And he is a champion for New York and all its 62 counties. And that's my good friend, Senator Charles Schumer. Isn't he great? (APPLAUSE) Wonderful.

I have so many-- so many friends and people to thank. It is a day of mixed emotions in lots of ways. But I'm glad to be here. I didn't think I would be here in this way. Let me-- recognize some of my colleagues and friends who are here. And I think you should know that they are here. All of the elected officials in the county of the Bronx, give them a big round of applause. (APPLAUSE) Thank you, every single one of you.

07:55

I know that we've been joined by-- the Comptroller of the State of New York, Tom DiNapoli, the Comptroller of the City of New York-- Bill Thompson, the Speaker of the City Council of New York City, Chris Quinn-- Congressman Gregory Meeks from the County of Queens-- he crossed the water and came to the mainland, USA.

The Secretary of State of the State of New York from the Village of the Bronx, Lorraine Cortez-Vasquez is here. (APPLAUSE) The Chairman of the Democratic Party in the Bronx, Carl Heastie is here. Congratulations, Mr. Chairman. The former Chairman of the Democratic County Organization in the Bronx, Assemblyman José Rivera is here. (APPLAUSE) The former, former Chairman of the Democratic Party-- in the Bronx, Roberto Ramirez is here. Thank you, Roberto, for your friendship and your support always.

The former Borough President who was called out before and is-- really started all this trouble for us, and now we are on the national stage, Freddy Ferrer, you are terrific. Thank you for your (APPLAUSE) 14 years of service. God bless you. Thank you. And so many friends. I-- I see so many-- so many friends and colleagues. It's nice when you lose your index cards. It really is. (LAUGHTER)

09:16

Peter Vallone-- the former Speaker of the City Council is here. (APPLAUSE) God bless you, Pete. And thanks for your friendship and your support in this process. Guillermo Linares is representing the Mayor of the City of New York and a dear former colleague in the City Council, Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, many Council members from all over the city, people who have served our city well, who love this borough and love this city and love this country. To all of you.

My former pastor, Joe Cortizi (PH) is here. Thank you, Joe. Thank you for being here. And Bishop Bailey (PH), (APPLAUSE) from the Bronx Clergy Taskforce. So many. You get in trouble when you lose your index cards. (LAUGHTER) Most importantly-- I-- I wanna say a thank you to my family. Because if it were not-- and those of you who are in this line of work know-- if it were not for your family and their ability to tolerate the lifestyle and the schedule that we keep in the work that we do, we would not be able to do that.

And so I wanna say to my best friend in the whole world and my dear wife-- Linda Baldwin, thank you, honey. I love you. (APPLAUSE) Thank you. Thank you. And thank you to my bambinos. Ahhh. And my parents are here. Adolfo and Alisa (PH) from Puerto Rico. They're always from Puerto Rico. (APPLAUSE) Mommy and Poppy, please stand and just say hello. They're responsible for this. They're responsible for this. "Y que viva Puerto Rico." [TRANSLATION: "Go Puerto Rico!"]

10:49

And my sister, Lizette, who's taken up this cause with us and come back from California to be with us here in New York, thank you, Lizi, for being with us. I love you. (APPLAUSE) Let me begin my formal remarks by saying that I didn't think I would have one final opportunity to address you in the context of a State of the Borough Address.

People say sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. And those of you who play golf know what I'm talking about. (LAUGHTER) Today, I get to thank you-- thank you for your partnership and collaboration in moving the Bronx forward. In preparing for today, I had a chance to look back and review what we've focused on in the last seven State of the Borough addresses. And I promise you, I will not repeat the addresses today.

But in the first year in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we've focused on coming together as a city and as a community to rebuild. We focused on fiscal austerity, having lost 100,000 jobs in just three months. And we also focused on getting back to the basics of education. In the second year, I presented this concept called "The Three E's," economic development, environment in the larger sense of a good neighborhood and all it takes to do that, and on education as we continued that recovery period from 2001.

12:10

In the third year, I argued that the best social program is a job. And we launched The Bronx at Work program, insisting that any developers doing business in the Bronx had to do business with the Bronx. In partnership with Cable Vision and with the help of our Secretary of State, Lorraine Cortez-Vasquez, who back then was at Cable Vision, we installed high-speed internet access in every Bronx school, every single one.

And with Con Edison, we put every community board on the web. That year we launched the Bronx Domestic Violence Advisory Council and opened 30 new schools. In year four we announced the plan for the redevelopment of the Yankee Stadium neighborhood and crafted an historic agreement with a host of community benefits which set the standard for host communities around the city and even as far away as the City of Houston.

We announced the creation of 21 more new schools and the start of the Bronx Children's Museum Project. In year five, we focused on public safety, The Team Up to Clean Up the Bronx Community Service Program that enlisted hundreds of volunteers in every neighborhood of the borough, and we negotiated the largest tenant purchase of housing in Bronx history, 1,865 units in the Soundview section of the Bronx, the Lafayette Boynton Co-ops.

13:43

And I wanna recognize Assembly member Rubén Díaz for the work that he did in bringing that together-- (APPLAUSE) in that auspicious occasion. Thank you, Assemblyman. In year six, we focused on greening initiatives, including the planting of thousands of trees, a green roof on the Bronx County Courthouse and many other buildings around the borough, a health and wellness campaign to combat obesity, diabetes and unhealthy lifestyles and the Bronx Veterans Advisory Council.

And in year seven, we launched an aggressive "Quality of Life" campaign and the Bronx Historic Preservation Taskforce that this year, publish the report identifying historic sites throughout the Bronx worthy of preservation and in some cases landmark status.

With the help of every Bronx elected official and community board, we ushered in an unprecedented period of growth and development that includes a new Yankee Stadium neighborhood, the new Gateway Center coming up along the Harlem River, millions of square feet of office and retail space, more than 40,000 units of housing for families of every income, unprecedented investment in parks development, modernization of schools and community facilities, the single largest expansion of funding for senior programs, healthcare-- facilities and enhancements to schools in the form of science and computer labs and libraries and an investment of almost 24 million dollars through the Bronx Federal Empowerment Zone Loans and Grants for Commercial and Green Projects.

15:30

All together we have invested nearly 210 million dollars just from the Borough President's funds. But when we add up everything, including the wonderful work of the city, state and federal officials that you see here today, and the private investment that we are looking at, then we're talking about an investment of more than 10 billion dollars, (APPLAUSE) more than 10 billion dollars in seven years.

My friends, this has been a truly unique time of partnership between the public and the private sectors. And now we enter a moment of great difficulty and challenge. Today we gather at a moment of great opportunity and newness because of the election of President Obama and a new generation of leaders.

But also, we enter a moment of great distress and gravity because of an unmatched global economic crisis. If someone would have told me on January 1, 2002 when I first walked-- or I should say actually-- hobbled on crutches into the Borough President's office, if they told me that a 47-year-old man named Barack Obama would be our President and that that President along with a Congress led by Democrats entirely in both houses would pass a 787 billion dollars stimulus bill followed quickly by a 275 billion dollars housing rescue plan in order to get our economy our of an almost unprecedented crisis, possibly only rivaled by the actions of another President and Congress to dig us out of the Great Depression, if they had told me that-- back then -- that at this time major banks would go out of business or have to be bailed out by you, the taxpayer, that U.S. automakers would have to be rescued, that we would have seen the loss of almost five million jobs and more than two million foreclosures in a little over a year, that our state and our city and our borough would be experiencing such distress and that I would be addressing you for the last time as Borough President and going to work for the 44th President of these United States, I would probably dismiss you (LAUGHTER) as someone with a fairly loose grip on what we purport to know as reality. (APPLAUSE)

18:09

You couldn't make this up. I guess this constitutes, yet again, the vindication of those who insist that anything is possible. Once again, you and I are called upon to believe that we are in fact able to set our course, and that the limits we imagine are only set by us. (APPLAUSE)

Two hundred years after the birth of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and just 45 years after a 39-year-old preacher from the South called our nation to rise up to all it could be, we open a chapter of new promise and potential for our nation and our community here in the Bronx. I am proud and more proud than ever to be from a special American community called the Bronx. I ask you to do yourself and me a favor today. The next time you encounter a self-loathing pessimist who dwells on the negative and emphasizes the unaccomplished, as opposed to how far we have come and how promising the future is, (APPLAUSE) please cast them aside and move forward with optimistic fervor! (APPLAUSE)

I believe that nothing can keep us back. Nothing can keep us back. It is true, it is true that in our short 233 year history we have not faced many moments like the one we face today. It is also true that every time we've had to overcome adversity, the American people have prevailed.

19:52

Whether it was Civil War that almost destroyed the Union, Reconstruction, a Great economic Depression, World Wars, civil and social unrest here at home, wars abroad-- no matter what it has come our way, we have overcome. And the Bronx is no different. We will continue (APPLAUSE) to overcome. Today we face a time after years of growth and development when we will see the effects of a global financial crisis here in our 61 neighborhoods.

And we are already experiencing the hemorrhaging of jobs, foreclosures on homes, reduced-- business activity and a slowing of our construction boom. We know this will get worse before it gets better, in part because we have yet to see the full effects of the global financial meltdown and in part because it will take time for the impact of the historic stimulus package to get to households and businesses across our country.

So while we were able to see great progress in the last seven years, we must now brace ourselves for tough days again. But we know that the people of the Bronx, probably more than most counties in America, know adversity and know how to overcome it. Al Pacino, who grew up on 174th Street in the Bronx, was told by some handlers of his that he needed protection, to which he responded, "I don't need bodyguards. I'm from the South Bronx." (APPLAUSE) That tells it all.

21:36

Let me be clear. We know that this crisis is not due to the greed and irresponsibility of the hard-working 90 percent of the people who simply get up every day and go to work and school their kids and worship in the communities and participate in civic activities, simply believing that if they play by the rules they'll get ahead. No. We are in this bind because of the greed and irresponsibility of the few, the result of a banking and government culture that has rewarded excess and discouraged responsibility and stability, promoting an obscene view of what it means to succeed, measured not by added value but by the trappings of wealth.

Well, once again, just like we've done in the past, the hard-working people of our city and of our country will set things right. We will do it by insisting that our government behave responsibly, that it set the right priorities and that we elect the right leaders with the right motivations. (APPLAUSE) Just this week, President Obama, in announcing his plan to stem foreclosures and keep millions of American families in their homes, called on the country to return to our core values of responsibility and common sense, a return to the basics of investing in the areas that build communities of aspiration and communities of opportunity.

Well, I am very proud of what we've accomplished. Now we must turn our attention to unfinished business and new opportunity. The historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offers the next Borough President and all officials here in the Bronx and the city a fresh opportunity to address the Bronx's areas of natural strength.

23:36

The Bronx is known as the Borough of Parks, Universities and Hospitals. It's no secret that at a minimum, one quarter of the Bronx workforce is in the healthcare industry and almost one in five are in education. I consider these the building blocks.

If we educate and promote wellness and build the connections for paths to careers in the area-- in these areas of strength for the Bronx, we will make great progress in addressing the needs of this borough. So outside of everything else you will be able to do, my dear colleagues-- and there's gonna be lots you can do, I couldn't fit it into seven borough addresses, trust me-- I encourage the next Borough President and all Bronx and city officials to tee up those projects right away.

And let's link the healthcare and education institutions to the schools, to the colleges, to the job training programs, some of which will be expanded with the funds from the federal government. And let's get people on successful career tracks. (APPLAUSE) Let's do that right away.

24:48

There is no valid reason we should be importing healthcare workers and teachers when we have a growing population and young people in our very own neighborhoods that are uneducated or under-educated and consequently unemployed or under-employed because of our collective failures in the larger sense. We need to create the local synergies that take a little more time but make a lot more sense, this back to basics, back to core values approach. We cannot continue in the mold that took our economy into the tank, that quick fix, that "get what you can while you can" approach-- again, a return to the core values of responsibility and common sense. (APPLAUSE)

Today, I am addressing you for the last time as Borough President of the Bronx. And I have accepted the invitation of the President of the United States to be the Director of the White House Office on Urban Affairs. (APPLAUSE) You know, after spending time talking to people around the country about the possibility of resetting our priorities and returning to the basics of building strong communities, and carefully considering what President Obama said to the nation's mayors as a candidate, I agreed that this was the approach we needed towards cities and metropolitan areas.

Let me share with you, from much of what the President said to America's mayors last summer and why I am going to work with him. President Obama acknowledged that in this country change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up, that when a disaster strikes-- a Katrina, a shooting or a six-alarm blaze-- it's city halls we lean on. It's local government we call first and depend on to get us through these tough times.

26:48

That's because local leaders are on the front lines in our communities. They know what happens when Washington fails to do its job. That when Washington puts out economic policies that work for Wall Street but not for Main Street, it's towns and cities that get hit when businesses have to close their doors and workers lose their jobs and families lose their homes because of unscree-- scrupulous-- lenders.

The President believes local government needs a partner in the White House. Because when Washington makes promises it doesn't keep and fails to fully fund No Child Left Behind, it's our teachers who are overburdened. It's our teachers who aren't getting the support they need and our teachers who are forced to teach to the test instead of giving students the skills to compete (APPLAUSE) in a global economy.

When Washington succumbs to petty partisanship and fails to pass comprehensive immigration reform, many communities are forced to take immigration enforcement into their own hands. Cities' services are stretched. And our neighborhoods see the rising cultural and economic tensions.

28:02

When Washington listens to big oil and gas companies and blocks real energy reform, our budgets get pinched by high energy costs and our schools cut back on textbooks to keep buses running. It's the lots in our towns, in our cities, in our boroughs that become the brown fields. Even with the absence of leadership in Washington over the last eight years, we're still seeing a rebirth in many places across the country.

We shouldn't be succeeding despite Washington. We should be succeeding with a hand from Washington. (APPLAUSE) And I believe this President understands what we know in the Bronx, that neglect is not a policy for America's metropolitan areas. I agree, what we need is a partner who knows that the old ways of looking at our cities just won't do, who knows that our nation and our cities are undergoing a historic transformation.

The President reminded the mayors that the change that's taking place today is as great as any we've seen in more than a century, since the time when cities grew upward and outward with immigrants escaping poverty and tyranny and misery abroad, and that while this population has grown by tens of millions in the past few decades, it is projected to grow nearly 50 percent more in the decades to come, not only in our cities but throughout larger metropolitan areas.

29:34

We know that nearly 80 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas that are increasingly interdependent. The President recognizes this is creating new pressures. But it's also opening up new opportunities because our metropolitan areas, not just the central cities, are hotbeds of innovation. He explained to the mayors back in June of 2008. It's not just Durham or Raleigh. It's the entire research triangle.

It's not just Palo Alto. It's cities up and down Silicon Valley. The top 100 metro areas generate two-thirds of our jobs, nearly 80 percent of patents and handle 75 percent of all seaport tonnage. The fact is, 42 of our metro areas now rank among the world's 100 largest economies. He recognized that to seize the possibility of this moment, we need to promote strong cities as the backbone of regional growth.

We need to promote a new urban agenda that will not only tackle areas of concentrated poverty. We need to make sure that kids get the right start. We need to create public/private business incubators. We need to fund the COPS program. We need to restore funding for community development block grants. We need to fund community-based health centers, like we have right here in the Bronx. (APPLAUSE) We need to recruit more teachers to cities and pay them more and give them more support.

31:15

Last June, the President told America's mayors he would put forth a plan to provide a real relief for struggling homeowners and help them to keep their homes and avoid foreclosure. And this week he made good on that commitment. And he also made good on his commitment to help build us more affordable housing, ensuring funding in the stimulus package directed specifically at affordable housing.

I agree with the President that we need to stop seeing our cities as the problem and start seeing America's cities as the solution. (APPLAUSE) We in the Bronx believe that strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions. And strong regions are essential for a strong and competitive America. This new national urban agenda has to be as much about South Florida as it is about Miami, about Mesa and Scottsdale as much as it is about Phoenix, and right here in our corner of the country, about Stamford and Northern New Jersey as much as it is about New York City.

And I agree with the President that our children will grow up competing with children in Beijing and Bangalore and Berlin. President Obama reminded the mayors that China is developing an advanced network of ports and freight hubs and an advanced network of universities modeled after American universities, and that Germany has launched rail and Telecom projects to connect its major metropolitan areas.

32:42

But we cannot compete in this global economy if we don't show the same kind of leadership. So the President's agenda aims to unlock the potential of all our regions by connecting them with a 21st Century infrastructure, a world-class transit system, recommitting federal dollars to strengthen mass transit, reforming our tax code to give folks a reason to take the bus instead of driving to work. We've been having (APPLAUSE) a conversation in our region about that. And make metro areas more livable in order to help our regional economies grow.

He said, "We'll partner with mayors to invest in green energy and technology and ensure that your buses and buildings are energy efficient. We'll invest in ports, roads and high-speed rails." President Obama's right. We don't want to see the fastest train in the world built halfway around the world in Shanghai. We wanna see it built right here in the United States of America. (APPLAUSE)

We know the President talked about change during his campaign. I believe as he does that if we can bring about change in our neighborhoods, then change will come to our cities. And if change comes to our cities, then change will come to our regions. And if change comes to our regions, then change will come to every corner of this great country we love.

34:05

For these reasons, the President said he would appoint the first White House Director of Urban Affairs. And I'm thrilled to be called into service to our country from the Village of the Bronx. (APPLAUSE) So I will conclude with this. In about a month you will hear the National Anthem followed by the famous words, "Play ball," in a new state-of-the-art Yankee Stadium right here in the Bronx. (APPLAUSE)

On a hopefully sunny-- April afternoon, you will hear the crisp crack of a wood baseball bat meet a leather baseball and the roar of a stadium full of Yankee fans, really symbolic of a new era that will usher in a period of construction of a new regional park right there. On the waterfront you'll see a tennis center and an ice-skating concession and a new mall to-- right next to a waterfront park, teeming with families who will be able to take their kids to the Bronx Children's Museum right in that neighborhood (APPLAUSE) or join tourists from around the world who will be visiting the new International Museum of Hip-Hop. (APPLAUSE)

That's for the young elected officials. (LAUGHTER) Or thanks to advocacy of my friend and your former Borough President Freddy Ferrer, people will visit from around the country and around the world to participate in the world's largest marathon and Latin music festival in the Bronx, the Latino Marathon. (APPLAUSE)

35:51

I believe that we will build it and they will come. And we have done that and they have come. Again, I thank my family, my friends, the many supporters who help put me in position to get elected to do this wonderful job and my dear colleagues who helped to carry forward a Bronx agenda. Thank you to my staff, a team of people who each in their own way with the limits of time, experience and politics forged ahead and tolerated me while I tried to build a stronger Bronx.

It's because 2,602 days since I hobbled on crutches down the center aisle of Veterans Memorial Hall to be sworn in as the 12th President of the Borough of the Bronx. This community has done more for me, far more than I will ever be able to claim I have done for it. When I come home from a tour of duty in our nation's capitol, I will continue working right here in our city with the optimists who believe our best days are always before us because we can always do better.

This city has been the incubator for people like Al Smith, a poor Irish immigrant from the Lower East Side, Fiorello LaGuardia, an Italian Jew who did more for infrastructure and the garden of skyscrapers. FDR, the President who helped to pull us out of the Great Depression and so many others, this city is my beloved city. This borough is my beloved borough.

37:32

This city is the city that when pushed to describe it, James Joyce could only say, "Here comes everybody." This is the city that defies convention and beckons us into the future with the same sense of awe and daring that ring in the words of Emma Lazarus, that 34-year-old German Jewish poet who had grown weary of anti-Semitism and persecution in Russia.

And in 1883 she submits this humble 14 line poem to help the faltering fundraising campaign for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. And in her still haunting and quite prophetic words she suggests the following. "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame with conquering limbs astride from land to land. Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name, Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand glows worldwide welcome. In her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 'Keep ancient lands your storied pomp,' cries she with silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.'"

I will come back to our beloved New York. But for now, I will join our President, the 44th President of the United States, to help rebuild the promise of America. God bless you. God bless the Bronx. (APPLAUSE) And God bless the United States of America. Thank you. Thank you, Bronx. I love you. Thank you.

39:39

SARAH SUMLER:

Visit us at www.lehman.edu. This is a production of the Lehman College Media Relations Office.

[MUSIC]

39:55

[END OF AUDIO]