Last week on Election Day, New Yorkers went to the polls to express a desire for change and a new direction for our city.
Despite being outspent roughly 15-to-1, my campaign for mayor ended just a few points shy of victory.
It was a campaign that defied conventional wisdom, public polls and a media largely seduced by the mayor’s wealth and his campaign’s spin, now exposed as distorting the reality of a very close race.
It’s a shame, because my efforts to restore affordability and opportunity for all communities in our city were often ignored. The pundits and the press never believed that the power of people could measure up to the power of money. They said we aimed too high and were too optimistic in the face of long odds.
My campaign was not focused on polls or on politics. Instead, it was focused on people and the challenges they face every day.
As I have during my tenure as New York City’s comptroller, I spent the past year traveling to neighborhoods throughout our city and listening to the concerns of our communities. New Yorkers complained about the loss of jobs and homes, and about being over-ticketed and priced out of New York.
I heard from parents seeking a stronger voice in their children’s education and small-business owners on the verge of shutting their doors. I met with low-income families who feel that the government has ignored their struggles. I talked with working men and women who have watched their bank accounts diminish in the face of the lingering recession.
In short, I met countless New Yorkers who feel shut out of our city’s promise and prosperity. That is why I set out to put City Hall back on the side of working New Yorkers.
This was a campaign I had to wage, and not take the safe and easy road to reelection as comptroller. Why? Because this campaign was not about me. It was about New York City and its people. It was about affordability, equal opportunity, and bringing common sense and compassion back to government.
I am humbled by the drive and dedication of those who joined me on this journey. I urge all of you to remain active and involved by continuing to fight for a better New York. As long as we face issues such as record homelessness, a soaring unemployment rate and a school system that still fails too many of our children, there is work yet to be done.
As for me, although this campaign has ended, my commitment to these issues and this city remain as strong as ever.
Public service has been the passion of my life and I fully expect that–no matter what road I travel next–I will keep on working to build on the tradition of leadership, strength and activism that was started by those who came before me.
I look forward to continuing to work with all New Yorkers to ensure that our city reflects the values and ideals we all cherish: diversity, fairness and opportunity for all.