March 27, 2017
Video available at: http://youtu.be/X3d0L8iZY0k
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, everyone’s here for a reason – this statue, the Fearless Girl, means so much to the people of New York City – and I’m saying all the people of New York City. I’ve been profoundly struck by what this statue means in particular to women, and to girls in this city, and this whole country. But I think there’s an even broader symbolism of standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right. I think this beautiful statue stands for all of those ideas and those values.
So, I’m very happy to announce that our city Department of Transportation – our Art Commission at the DOT took a vote and has agreed to extend the presence of the Fearless Girl here in our city, and she will be here all the way to next International Women’s Day here in our city.
Before I turn to the Borough President, I want to say this – this has been a tough time for so many people these last months. And I’ve heard this from women from all over New York City, and around the country – the frustration they feel, the anger they feel at the way that women have been disrespected and their rights have been disrespected.
You saw the most powerful expression of that on January 21st. The largest demonstration in the history of this country – women and their male allies all over this country – hundreds of cities and towns – coming out to say that regardless of the results of an election, no one was going to affront women and the rights of women. And right after that, this miraculous girl appears and created such a powerful sensation because she spoke to the moment – that sense that women were not going to live in fear, that women were going to teach their daughters and all the girls in their life to believe in themselves.
You might have seen, a Girl Scout troop came up to me just a few moments ago, talking about how important the Fearless Girl was to them. So, sometimes a work of art captures the moment in history, and that’s what’s happened here. This small but powerful statue has really encapsulated the views and the feelings of so many people. This statue has crystallized this moment in history and has given a message of power and personal empowerment to women and girls.
One last point before I turn to Gale – there was another moment right around here that reminds me of the power of the statue. Remember when we had the parade for the winners of the Women’s World Cup? The soccer team that made this entire country proud, and a lot of people felt in that moment. I watched – I was up on one of he floats with some of the stars of that team, and I saw that men and boys felt just as much pride and respect for the members of that team as the women and girls did. Sometimes a symbol helps us become whole, and I think the Fearless Girl is having that same effect. She is inspiring everyone in a moment where we need inspiration.
So, I’m happy to say, she’s going to be with us all the way to next International Women’s Day to continue to inspire us. With that, the Borough President of Manhattan Gale Brewer –