CITY HALL — Just hours after Donald Trump was elected as 45th president of the United States, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a warning to the president-elect that New York City is not going to stop being a tolerant place that welcomes and protects immigrants and people of all ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations.
Standing alone and speaking from a podium in City Hall's Blue Room, the mayor, in brief remarks, said that a Trump presidency would not change the values that New York City is known for.
"Like millions of New Yorkers, I'm deeply disappointed by the results of this election. But I'm equally dedicated to our democracy and determined to preserve the values our city cherishes," said de Blasio.
"I congratulate the New Yorker who won the election, Donald Trump, and I honor the New Yorker who won our city's vote and the popular vote nationally, Hillary Clinton. I call on all New Yorkers to move forward together, resolute and determined to protect and preserve the city we love and the values we cherish," the mayor added.
De Blasio, who has been a surrogate for Clinton during a bitterly divisive campaign, has never been hesitant to criticize Trump leading up to the election. But on Wednesday, the mayor ignored reporters shouting questions after his brief address and left immediately.
The subtext of de Blasio's remarks are comments that Trump has made during the presidential campaign. Trump, a native New Yorker, has said that he wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out and called some Mexicans rapists. He has referred to African-American neighborhoods as places where people can get shot just walking to the store.
The president-elect has said he plans "extreme vetting" of Muslim immigrants to prevent terrorism, and called for stop and frisk, which a federal judge said violated the rights of black and Latino men the way it was being practiced in New York City, to become a national policing strategy to bring back "law and order."
De Blasio rebutted many of those remarks without directly mentioning Trump.
"New York believes in liberty. We stand behind Lady Liberty with open arms to welcome immigrants and refugees. We always have and we always will. New York believes in tolerance. We want to show the world that live and let live is the best policy. We embrace civil rights. We uplift diversity. We always have and we always will," said the mayor.
De Blasio touted his community policing plan as a way "to bind up the wounds and heal the relationship between our police and our communities," borrowing from the conciliatory words that Trump used for the first time early Wednesday during his victory speech.
"These are the values that New Yorkers share and these values have never been dependent on any one person or any one office," added de Blasio.
After de Blasio's short speech, his spokesman Eric Phillips said the mayor's intent was to reassure New Yorkers who might be feeling some "understandable unease" and to "provide some solace" during a time of uncertainty.
"New York City is not going to change," said Phillips.