Jimmy Carter photo

New York City Exchange With Reporters Following a Tour of the South Bronx.

October 05, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. [Inaudible]--but I was encouraged in some way, because there is obviously--[inaudible]--to rebuild this. And the Public Housing Authority in New York, which is well known as probably the best in the Nation, has done a superb job.

I have asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Pat Harris, who was with me this morning, to work closely with the Interior Department in putting down some plans along with the city and State for recreation areas and park areas in regions where buildings need to be destroyed.

And our CETA funds, training programs can provide employment for people to rebuild their own neighborhoods and, of course, with the public works programs that we put through the Congress now, we have a good chance to renovate that area.

We'll put together a comprehensive plan, working with Mayor Beame both while he's mayor and, I hope, after he's no longer mayor--and the new mayor of New York. I think we will have a good prospect---

REPORTER. You once said you thought New York City has changed for the better in the last few years under Mayor Beame. Have---


Q. Did you change your mind after your tour--[inaudible].

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't changed my mind. I think even among the people who live in the South Bronx and who are very disturbed about their own neighborhoods, that there's a spirit of hope, and I think that there's a spirit of determination to take what they still have--there is a friendly attitude toward me, toward Mayor Beame-- [inaudible].

I believe that in the last 2 years there has been a substantial transformation for the better in the general attitude of New Yorkers, and I think they are confident[inaudible].

Q. Sir, could you tell us what job you might consider Mayor Beame for in Washington?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I particularly need him in government, tying together in a more forceful way the different levels of government, because the Federal Government can't deal with these problems alone.

Of course, almost all of the South Bronx property, outside of government housing--[inaudible]--are owned by private citizens. So, that's a resource that we haven't adequately tapped. And with his superb experience and background and knowledge, that's one area that I see a possibility of--[inaudible]--but I won't expect him to make a decision all alone. If he is willing to help me I'd like to work closely with him on a nationwide basis, for making sure that the different levels of government can work in harmony.

Q. Would there be an official appointment for Mr. Beame, or would this be in an unofficial capacity?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would prefer an official capacity, but that would be[inaudible].

Q. Can you make a suggestion about what type of office?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I think that's something that ought to be announced later on.

Q. Mr. President, were you upset at all by Mr. Koch's giving you that letter yesterday, objecting to your position?

THE PRESIDENT. No, not at all. No, I was glad to see Mr. Koch. I think it's a completely logical thing for him to express his concern to me, and I was not disturbed at all.

Q. Will the letter, sir, in any way jeopardize your relationship with New York City through Mr. Koch?

THE PRESIDENT. Of course not. Ed Koch expressed some of the concerns in his letter that I feel myself. We've obviously got a very difficult job as a negotiator, a mediator, and an interested party in the Middle East. We have ties with Israel that are absolutely unshakable. The security of Israel is vital to the security of our own country.

We had meetings last night for 4, 5, 6 hours--I don't know exactly how long-with Foreign Minister Dayan. I met with the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Mr. Fahmy, yesterday. Cy Vance is meeting this morning with the Foreign Minister of Syria. And we're continuing our discussions with all the interested parties.

I'll be meeting today with the Foreign Minister of Lebanon. So, I think that a public expression of concern is completely legitimate, and I don't feel badly about it at all.

Q. Won't you come back and campaign for Mr. Koch in New York?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know about that. I really don't think I need to. And I doubt that I'll be able to come back before the election.

Q. [Inaudible]--microphones, set up at the heliport, prepared for you to make a statement in behalf of the Koch candidacy for mayor. You apparently at the last minute

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't know about that.

Q.---changed your mind. You did not know about that at all?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I didn't. I didn't know it.

Q. Your advance people didn't discuss this with you at all?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I never heard about that.

Note: The President spoke at 10:15 a.m. outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel.

Earlier in the day, the President and Mayor Abraham Beame of New York City met at the U.N. Plaza Hotel and then proceeded to the South Bronx area of the city for the tour.

Jimmy Carter, New York City Exchange With Reporters Following a Tour of the South Bronx. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242671

Filed Under




New York

Simple Search of Our Archives