As we resolve to meet the opportunities and challenges of a new year, we renew our resolution to learn from past failures and commit to the improvement of our neighborhoods, cities and State. Many of you have set goals for the coming year and we, as community advocates and leaders, will join you in ensuring that we succeed in getting what we have always fought for-a better quality of life and solutions to our community’s problems.
We must continue to fight for our collective interests, protect our kids, working families and seniors, fight for better education, public safety, wages, jobs and health care, be more responsive to our friends in need, and be better stewards of our environment and neighborhoods.
With the many lows, such as the plummeting of the real estate markets, increased costs of living and prescription drugs, the high foreclosure rate due to mortgage failures, the highest unemployment rate in recent years, huge and painful financial bailouts for mismanaged industries and the collapse of our financial institutions due to predatory lending, it is hard not to acknowledge that 2008 was perhaps the most dreadful year for most of us. Families and small businesses in our local communities are hurting big time.
Added to that, we must now endure the pangs of despair in the face of a state budget crisis, and, despite our personal sacrifices, indecision as to which party will lead the State Senate after decades of dysfunction. When I stepped aside and endorsed and supported Councilman Joe Addabbo for the State Senate, now State Senator Addabbo, to avoid a divisive and expensive primary, I did so because I wanted our families to get the better life we are owed on account of our delivery of this linch pin seat to secure the majority to Democrats after decades in the wilderness. We hope that mandate is fulfilled.
With the pending increases in property taxes, MTA fares, tuition costs, utility costs, and the introduction of new taxes, such as music and obesity taxes, and budget cuts in health care, schools, police and the fire department, New Yorkers are urged to keep the faith and fight and pray for a brighter and better 2009.
We deserve better from our government, and demand more! Enough is enough!