As we get ready to welcome 2022, we reflect on the past year, which has not been easy by any metric. However, as Anne Frank once wrote: “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
Despite the ongoing surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and the devastation Hurricane Ida wrought upon our communities in September, as well as the pervasive economic, racial, and social inequities that plague our communities, it’s easy to feel down, but Brooklynites are stronger when they stand together, and are never down for the count. I am filled with renewed hope that the coming year will bring us to places of greater equality, health, justice, and safety for all Brooklynites and New Yorkers. Yes, there is a lot of work that must be done, and no, it is not going to be easy, but in the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who we lost earlier this week, “To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.”
If these past eight years have taught me anything about Brooklynites, it’s that when our communities face difficult times, I always see neighbors rise to lend a hand, whether bringing home-cooked meals to those who are homeless or homebound, or collecting clothing and toiletries for families whose home was tragically gutted by fire. Brooklynites always find a way to come together to help other Brooklynites. That is spreading love, the Brooklyn way!
And so, on this final New Year’s Eve of my borough presidency, and in the enduring spirit of One Brooklyn, I hope all of you reading will continue to do all you can to elevate and empower others in Brooklyn and beyond who may be less fortunate. When we welcome 2022, let’s resolve to do what we can to make this borough, this city, and this world a better place.
Wishing all of you a very happy, joyful, peaceful New Year!