Keynote Speaker Rudolph W. Giuliani
Rudolph W. Giuliani
"Leadership in Difficult Times"
Keynote Address by Former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
Exclusively Represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau
In 1944, Rudolph W. Giuliani was born to a working class family in Brooklyn, New York. As the grandson of Italian immigrants, Mayor Giuliani learned a strong work ethic and a deep respect for America's ideal of equal opportunity. He attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (Class of 1961) in Brooklyn, Manhattan College (Class of 1965) in the Bronx and New York University Law School in Manhattan, graduating magna cum laude in 1968.
Upon graduation, Rudy Giuliani clerked for Judge Lloyd MacMahon, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. In 1970, Giuliani joined the office of the U.S. Attorney. At age 29, he was named Chief of the Narcotics Unit and rose to serve as executive U.S. Attorney. In 1975, Giuliani was recruited to Washington, D.C., where he was named Associate Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General. From 1977 to 1981, Giuliani returned to New York to practice law at Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler.
In 1981, Giuliani was named Associate Attorney General, the third highest position in the Department of Justice. As Associate Attorney General, Giuliani supervised all of the U.S. Attorney Offices' Federal law enforcement agencies, the Bureau of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the US Marshals.
In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he spearheaded the effort to jail drug dealers, fight organized crime, break the web of corruption in government, and prosecute white-collar criminals. Few US Attorneys in history can match his record of 4,152 convictions with only 25 reversals.
In 1989, Giuliani entered the race for mayor of New York City as a candidate of the Republican and Liberal parties, losing by the closest margin in City history. However in 1993, his campaign focusing on quality of life, crime, business and education made him the 107th Mayor of the City of New York. In 1997 he was re-elected by a wide margin, carrying four out of New York City's five boroughs.
As Mayor, Rudy Giuliani has returned accountability to City government and improved the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Under his leadership, overall crime is down 57%, murder has been reduced 65%, and New York City - once infamous around the world for its dangerous streets - has been recognized by the F.B.I. as the safest large city in America for the past five years.
New York City's law enforcement strategies have become models for other cities around the world, particularly the CompStat program, which won the 1996 Innovations in Government Award from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. CompStat allows police to statistically monitor criminal activity on specific street corners as well as citywide, holding precinct commanders accountable for criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Because this data is updated constantly, it enables the police to become a proactive force in fighting crime, stopping crime trends before they become crime waves that negatively affect the quality of life for neighborhood residents.
When Mayor Giuliani took office, one out of every seven New Yorkers was on welfare. Mayor Giuliani has returned the work ethic to the center of City life by implementing the largest and most successful welfare-to-work initiative in the country, cutting welfare rolls in half while moving over 640,000 individuals from dependency on the government to the dignity of self-sufficiency. In addition, Giuliani has enacted a record of over $2.5 billion in tax reductions - including the commercial rent tax, personal income tax, the hotel occupancy tax, and the sales tax on clothing for purchases up to $110 dollars. In addition, hundreds of millions of dollars have been returned to the private sector as a result of the Mayor's aggressive campaign to root out organized crime's influence over the Fulton Fish Market, the private garbage hauling industry, and wholesale food markets throughout the City. These reforms, combined with the fiscal discipline which enabled the Mayor to turn an inherited $2.3 billion dollar budget deficit into a multi-billion dollar surplus, have led New York City to an era of broad-based growth with a record 450,000 new private sector jobs created in the past seven years. As news of the City's resurgence has spread around the nation and the world, tourism has grown to record levels.
Mayor Giuliani is committed to nurturing and empowering New York City's children. By creating the Administration for Children's Services, New York City now has an accountable, proactive and effective protector for our City's most vulnerable children that is recognized as a national model. Moreover, New York City is working everyday to find loving families for children requiring adoption. The City has completed a record number of adoptions since 1996 - more than 20,000 - marking a dramatic 65% increase over the previous six-year period. Mayor Giuliani has also been a leader in getting health insurance to children through the innovative HealthStat initiative, which uses computer technology to coordinate a citywide effort to enroll children in existing health insurance programs. To date, 96,000 eligible children and families have been given access to health insurance through the HealthStat initiative. These improvements have increased hope and opportunity for all New York City's children and laid the foundation for our City to be even stronger in the 21st century.
To turn around the nation's largest urban public education system, Giuliani has worked tirelessly to restore accountability and raise standards throughout the City's schools. Student-teacher ratios are at an all-time low, while the annual operating budget for New York City's public schools has increased from $8 billion to $12 billion. Bureaucratic roadblocks to meaningful reform such as social promotion and principal tenure have ended, while programs such as bilingual education and special education have been reformed for the first time in a quarter century. Under the Mayor's leadership, New York City has introduced innovative new instructional programs that improve reading skills, give all students access to computers, and restore arts education as a fundamental part of the school curriculum. In the past year, these successful education initiatives have been accompanied by the establishment of 300-book libraries in every classroom and weekend classes for science and English instruction. In October 2000, the Mayor launched the New York City Charter School Improvement Fund, the first fund ever offered by a city government to help charter schools with equipment and facilities costs. The fund is the most recent example of the Mayor's commitment to both providing quality educational alternatives to all City families, regardless of their income, and to spurring the New York City public schools to improve through competition.
Under Rudy Giuliani's leadership, New York City has become the best-known example of the resurgence of urban America. From his success at cleaning up Times Square and other public spaces around the City to closing the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, Mayor Giuliani has worked tirelessly to pass New York to the next generation better and more beautiful than it was before he entered office.
New York has established itself as the City others look toward when they want to study the most innovative strategies for reducing crime, reforming welfare, encouraging economic growth, and improving the overall quality of life. In the past decade, New York City's population has reached a record 8 million residents, confirming that New York is again a City on the rise, full of optimism and confidence that its best days are still ahead of it.
On September 11th, 2001 the rest of the world found out what New Yorkers already knew, that Mayor Giuliani was a determined leader who could bring them remarkable strength and stability at a time of great uncertainty. During the crisis he became, in essence, "America's Mayor." He calmed, consoled and reassured the public, while urging them to return to their normal lives and not to let the terrorists achieve their aim of disrupting life. In one of the saddest times in American history, the remarkable leadership of Mayor Giuliani and the extraordinary heroism of his fellow New Yorkers restored faith in the ideals that are so vital to a free society.
On February 13, 2002, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed onto Rudy Giuliani an honorary KBE, Knight of the British Empire.