Rep. Maloney Statement on the Passing of Former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch

Feb 1, 2013
Press Contact: 
Brice Peyre (212) 860-0606

New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) issued the following statement today on the passing of Edward I. Koch, former New York City Mayor, Congressman, and New York City Council Member.

“Ed Koch was one of the best we ever had. He was a great mayor, a great advisor, and a great friend.

“He was an energetic cannonball of a man with an abiding love for our remarkable city. His steady leadership during the financial crisis of the 1970’s helped turn the city around. He inspired other people with confidence, in him, in themselves, and in New York. His many achievements, from the merit selection of judges to the rebuilding of entire neighborhoods in the city, resonate to this day.

“Ed Koch was always accessible. If the city had a problem, you could always get him on the phone. I first met him when I served as the Legislative Director for the Cities Committee of the State Legislature. His broad knowledge of public policies affecting urban areas, his intelligence and grasp of detail, his decisiveness, were everything we want to see in a great political leader.

“And his cheerful sense of confidence was absolutely contagious. Whether he was standing outside  his ‘lucky’ East 77th Street Subway entrance asking people, “How am I doing?” or standing on the Brooklyn Bridge during the transit strike and cheering on commuting pedestrians, he let people know: ‘We’re in this together and we’re going to be fine!’

“Nothing fazed Ed Koch. When the Republican policies slashed federal funding for the city, he was tireless in his efforts to find fresh ideas and innovative solutions to address the affordable housing crisis that those cuts helped engender.

“Nothing got him down. I was campaigning for him once on the West Side when I was running for City Council and, to my horror, some people started throwing eggs at him. We were walking back to the car, and I was apologizing to him and telling him how mortified I was that people would act like that – and he just smiled and turned to me and said:  ‘Not to worry - in my mind they’re all cheers!’

“He also left a remarkable legacy as a Member of Congress representing neighborhoods on Manhattan’s East Side and downtown. He was a courageous voice against America’s protracted involvement in the Vietnam War and for gay and lesbian rights long before those became broadly popular causes, and I am very proud to represent most of the neighborhoods in Congress that he did so effectively for many years.

“I will miss him. We will all miss him. I just wish I had once last chance to answer his question and tell him:  ‘Mr. Mayor, I think you’re doing great!’”