Comptroller Stringer Delivers Inaugural Address After Taking Oath of Office for a Second Term
January 1, 2018
(New York, NY) — New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer today took the oath of office for a second term as City Comptroller, and delivered his inaugural address after being sworn-in by his step-father, Carlos Cuevas, the first Puerto Rican City Clerk in New York City and a former Deputy Borough President from the Bronx. Comptroller Stringer was also joined at the inauguration ceremony by his mother, Arlene Cuevas, his wife Elyse Buxbaum, and his two young children, Max and Miles.
The inaugural address of Scott M. Stringer, 44th Comptroller of the City of New York, as prepared for delivery:
Thank you. I want to thank Carlos Cuevas for swearing me in.
As Deputy Borough President of the Bronx, and later as New York’s first Puerto Rican City Clerk, Carlos was both a trailblazer and, for me, an amazing stepfather.
I also want to thank my mother, a former teacher, who in the 1970s successfully ran for City Council in Washington Heights.
Many people back then said she should stay at home instead of breaking barriers at City Hall.
Her story shows how far we’ve come and how much more we have to do.
To my brilliant wife, Elyse, and our children Max and Miles, you mean everything to me. Being here with you today is so special.
I also want to recognize Mayor De Blasio and Public Advocate James, my partners in government.
On days like this, we should consider the arc of our city’s history. Think of where we are.
We are more diverse than we’ve ever been, with residents from every nation on earth.
Thanks to the leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neil, and our men and women in blue, our crime rate is lower than it has been since the 1950s.
And thanks to the Mayor, universal Pre-K is now a reality for all of our children.
We also have more people working than ever before, with unemployment rates at historic lows.
But amidst all this success, sobering challenges remain.
Tonight, in subzero conditions, more than 62,000 New Yorkers will sleep in homeless shelters. 24,000 of them are children.
Rents have increased 33 percent over the last 10 years, while wages grew less than half that rate.
More New Yorkers live in poverty than there are people in Philadelphia or Phoenix.
Folks, we have an affordability crisis – for nurses, teachers, firefighters, and child care workers; for young people who want to make New York City home and for seniors who worked for decades and earned their retirement.
And as we know, a city that is unaffordable, is a city that is unsustainable.
Because this city only works if it works for everybody.
If we become a place where the entrance fee is a two-million dollar condo and where only the most privileged can prosper, then we will betray the promise of New York.
Solving our affordability crisis requires bold ideas and putting them into action. We’ve done this before.
From Mayor LaGuardia inventing urban public housing in the 1930s to opening the City University of New York in 1961 to rebuilding at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, we have always been about big plans.
We need that spirit of ingenuity and determination today – to fix our subways and buses, so working people can get to where they need to be; to support our women and minority-owned businesses, which form the core of our neighborhood economies; to build wealth in every community; and to create a true five-borough economy.
Because unaffordability does not have to be a fact of life. It does not have to be inevitable, and it is not intractable.
As a great New Yorker, Franklin Roosevelt, once said, we need “bold, persistent experimentation.”
Being bold and persistent is how we became New York in the first place.
We can be a city where economic growth does not come at the expense of an equitable economy.
We can be a city where diversity and equality go hand in hand.
And we can be a city where all children – your children, my children, and the children we’re never going to meet, can make their dreams come true.
That’s what this is all about.