NY Comptroller John C. LIU OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES RUN FOR MAYOR
NEW YORK, NY – Comptroller John C. Liu, joined by his family and
hundreds of voters from throughout the five boroughs, Sunday, March 17 officially
announced his candidacy for Mayor under the campaign theme: “One
Also coinciding with the announcement was the full launch of the
campaign’s website www.johnliu2013.com. The website is produced by
Plus Three. Press Release.
The Campaign has raised just about the maximum spending limit for the
September 10 Primary. Since November 2010, the Campaign account has
received $3,229,794 from 5,192 donors. The Campaign currently has
$2,039,217 in cash on hand. With $568,515 in total matchable
contributions claimed to-date, the Campaign can apply for an
additional $3,411,090 in public funds under the NYC Campaign Finance
Program. The Campaign needs to raise just $12,578 more in matchable
contributions to reach the spending limit.
In 2009, John won the historic race to become the 43rd Comptroller of
the City of New York. An independently elected citywide official, he
pledged at his inauguration to “Exercise the powers of that office in
the most robust manner for the future of our City.” In just over three
short years, John has kept that promise:
• Produced more than $3 billion in cost savings. Because every dollar
does something, so every saving means something.
• Served as a watchdog – a pitbull – to aggressively root out waste,
fraud and abuse from the City’s coffers, especially spending on
outside consultants. The infamous CityTime moneypit led to the
recapturing of half a billion dollars, and John has identified even
more to recoup from other mismanaged and over-budgeted projects like
the 911 Call Center.
• Saved over $1 billion by reducing the City’s debt service. Because
any homeowner knows, refinancing is the kind of savings that goes
straight to the bottom line, and
• Enhanced the assets of the City’s pension funds and retirement
security of the City’s working retired men and women, amassing 40%
cumulative returns within three years.
• Expanded opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses to
do business with the City of New York.
• Developed innovative ways to get a better deal for taxpayers and
create jobs while meeting the infrastructure needs of tomorrow,
including a Capital Acceleration Plan for approved City construction
projects, significant pension fund investments for post-Sandy recovery
and Green Apple Bonds to remove dangerous PCBs in 700 schools.
• Protected wage standards and recouped back wages and fines on behalf
of cheated workers from contractors who just don’t want to play by the
• Proposed sound economic policies to create real economic growth and
narrow the ever-widening wealth gap.
• Exposed the billions of dollars in publicly-subsidized corporate
welfare doled out by the City that failed to deliver on promised new
jobs and fair housing.
• Propelled New York City as the most financially transparent
government in the United States by creating www.checkbooknyc.com, It
offers unprecedented public access into how the City of New York
spends its nearly $70 billion annual budget and compels more judicious
spending of previous taxdollars.
Prior to serving as Comptroller, John was a member of the New York
City Council from 2001 to 2009, representing District 20 in Queens. He
was Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee and also served on
the committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Oversight &
Investigation, and Lower Manhattan Redevelopment. John’s significant
accomplishments as a legislator included exposing financial
irregularities at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA),
shepherding bills through the Transportation Committee designed to
enhance administrative efficiency, and enacting legislation like the
Equal Access Bill mandating on-demand language services in health and
human services agencies, the School Zone Engine Idling Bill limiting
engine idling near schools, and the Dignity for All Schools Act
requiring the Department of Education to track bullying and harassment
Prior to serving in the City Council, John worked in the private
sector for 14 years, including as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP where he managed a team of actuaries. John has drawn upon his real
world fiscal expertise to root out waste and mismanagement in
Hailed as a “Trailblazer” and “Pioneer,” John’s historic elections as
the first Asian American elected in the City – both to the City
Council in 2001 and as City Comptroller in 2009 – were milestones for
Asian Americans in New York and across the nation. Although he wishes
APAs had been elected long before, John is honored to be the first and
embraces the opportunity to broaden representation and public service.
The full text of the announcement speech as prepared for delivery is below:
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu Announcement for Mayor: “One City”
Sunday, March 17, 2013
[AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY]
What a beautiful day, thank you all for being here. Happy St.
Patrick’s Day…Now for those of who you don’t know…I’m not Irish.
Although today, we are all Irish.
My story is like so many New York stories.
It began somewhere else.
My family immigrated from Taiwan when I was five years old, looking
for the same thing countless families have, including those from
Because that’s the sacred promise New York City made with us. Come
here. Work hard. Dream big. And then work even harder.
And if you do all that, you have the opportunity to make good.
My parents truly believed in that promise–that an immigrant family
named Liu could work their way up to become like a family named
That’s why they named me John—and if you don’t believe me—feel free to
ask my brothers Robert and Edward.
My parents kept their part of the promise– my dad taking a job far
beneath what he’d had in Taiwan, and my mom spending years in a
sweatshop, where I often had to help to make ends meet.
And New York kept its part of the promise too—because if we didn’t
quite rival the Kennedys, a New York City public school kid like me
was able to make it all the way to New York City Comptroller.
That’s the New York City we believed in.
And that’s the New York City I’m fighting to bring back.
Because I don’t need to tell you that economic justice and equal
opportunity have gone the way of Checkered Cabs and fifty-cent slices.
In New York these last twelve years, the rich keep getting filthy rich
while far too many New Yorkers can’t even think to get ahead, because
they’re just trying to get by.
The simple fact is, that a guy working on a Wall Street trading desk
has a far greater shot of climbing into the one per cent, than a
hard-working single mother has to climb above the poverty line.
There’s an old Chinese story—where a struggling town begs the emperor
to send relief—and the emperor tells them to tighten their belts.
The town replies: send belts.
Well the imperial edicts coming out of City Hall have been pretty much the same.
For senior citizens. Working mothers. Immigrant breadwinners. Small
business owners. Struggling teachers and students – many of whom who
are here today.
Mayor Bloomberg and his enablers have made it harder for them, while
making it easier for the wealthiest New Yorkers to leave the rest of
That’s not just.
That’s not right.
And that’s not New York.
Now other candidates will also talk about housing, public education
and job creation—about struggling families and tough times. But the
difference between them and I is I’ve lived it. The fears, the
challenges, the struggles that most New Yorkers are facing today.
I know what it’s like to work your heart out and barely keep your head
I know what it’s like for every single member of a family to have to
pull their weight, so they won’t go under.
And that’s why I know what it’s like to fight tooth and nail every
day for the people of this city.
And I know something else too. When you go after powerful people and
rich corporations, they’re going to come after you. They have
certainly made my life difficult. But let me be clear – we are not
They didn’t want us to recover millions of dollars in wages stolen
from workers cheated out of their pay.
They didn’t want us to expose that women and minorities were not
getting city business.
They didn’t want us to uncover that the MTA was using two sets of
books to rip off the public.
They didn’t want us to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse from the
mayor’s pet projects like CityTime and the 911 call system that were
robbing us blind, because they were the very ones wasting our money
and abusing our trust.
They didn’t want us recovering over 3 billion dollars for the people
of this city—money that goes to schools and hospitals and senior
centers and housing.
And the powerful sure don’t want you and I fighting for a higher
minimum wage—a living wage—because they’re more concerned with their
bottom line, than the poverty line.
As mayor—I’ll do what I’ve always done—as a Councilmember and as
Comptroller—stand up to every powerful person or entrenched interest
who’s standing in the way of what’s right.
That’s called leadership.
The kind of leadership this city is crying out for right now.
The kind of leadership that will fight for a city where
opportunity—real opportunity– is within the reach of every New
Yorker. In every neighborhood of the city.
Because this can’t be a city of rich and poor, of them and us.
New York City needs to be one city.
Where everyone gets a fair wage and a fair shot.
Where we take care of the needy, and take on the greedy.
Where a family can actually afford the roof over their heads, and not
have to fear bullets coming through their window.
Where you don’t have to worry about being stopped and frisked because
you happen to be the wrong color.
Where schools stop closing and grades start rising, where there’s
lower class sizes from K to 12, and higher education given to every
kid who earns it.
With your help, I’ll be a mayor who fights not only for every
borough—but for every block in every neighborhood.
A mayor who knows how to be a fiscal watchdog in the face of looming
deficits, but knows that it’s never just a matter of cost, but of
A mayor not of the one per cent—but of the one hundred per cent.
So I’m proud to stand here today with my wife Jenny and our son Joey,
and with all of my fellow New Yorkers here —
I, as a son of immigrants, a product of public schools, who left the
private sector for public service, proudly announce that I am running
to be mayor of our great city of New York.
Because this city used to make a promise with us—that every single New
Yorker can have the opportunity to succeed.
And I’m going to make damn sure that that promise is fulfilled.