Paris Mayor Describes Shared Bond with U.S. Cities
Reinemer, Michael, Nation's Cities Weekly
An eloquent, heart-felt speech from Paris, France, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe outlined the common bonds in the long history of cooperation between France and the United States.
He spoke to the need for future cooperation between city leaders from the two countries in the face of continuing globalization and the common responsibilities of cities in both countries in fighting terrorism, promoting democracy and education, combating racism and poverty and advancing the arts.
"Nothing, no one can break us apart if our common values remain at the heart of our vision of this new century," Delanoe told the group.
National League of Cities delegates gave Delanoe standing ovations at the beginning and at the conclusion of his remarks, made at the opening of the Congressional City Conference, and interrupted his speech several times with applause.
Washington, D.C., Mayor and NLC First Vice President Anthony A. Williams had invited Delanoe to speak after meeting with him in Paris last year.
Introducing Delanoe, Williams cited shared ideals of the United States and France that are visible not only in civic life, but also in the design of American cities.
Williams said that as Americans drive down streets in a number of cities across the U.S., they can observe the influence of French thinkers and see, "Cities that were designed around the issues of equality; cities that were designed around the aspirations of freedom; cities that were founded on the principal of community and living together."
Remarks by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe to National League of Cities
"I always believed in the strong friendship between the American and French people, founded on our common struggle for freedom, founded on mutual respect and our ability to dialogue in spite of our differences.
We will always stand together for democracy and common values. I am here today to declare our commitment to act together to eradicate terrorism, the plague which erodes our democracies.
We as mayors understand the meaning behind the word democracy because the great majority of populations in the world live in cities and as mayors we are close to the citizens we serve.
One may be the mayor of major city, a small town, a mayor in North or South America, Europe, Russia, Asia, or Africa: We all face the same challenges in our day-to-day management and duties to serve democracy. We must help create jobs, work on safe, efficient transportation and promote sustained development. …