Wearing a navy suit, he spoke on the stage of the Waldorf Astoria just after Police Commissioner William Bratton, in a tuxedo, presented a series of maps tracking New York murders and real-estate values from 1990 to 2013.
Areas marked red, representing murder rates of 31 to 40 a year, disappeared as the slides progressed and the city became covered in yellow, indicating areas with one to ten murders. Property-value maps went from predominantly light green, for values of $100,000 to $350,000, to dark, for values of $350,000 and up.
“It’s actually incredibly inspiring to see what the work of the NYPD has achieved,” de Blasio said. “Let’s thank them for all they’ve done. I will also note, as a homeowner in Brooklyn, I was struck by the real-estate value map. There’s good news all around tonight.”
Many guests were denied the same visual satisfaction as de Blasio. In 1990, as in 2013, their property values were above the $350,000 mark, and the map had no higher category.
They did, however, get de Blasio’s appreciation for supporting the police through the foundation. The department’s “work wouldn’t have been possible if you weren’t there every step of the way, people like you, always looking for ways to do better,” de Blasio said.
The mayor also emphasized the need for a strong police department. New York “is the number one terror target in the world,” he said. De Blasio noted he’d had a “wonderful conversation” with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson, “who affirmed the commitment” of Washington to protect the city.
The gala raised more than $3 million for the foundation, adding to the more than $120 million it has provided to the NYPD since 1971, according to the event journal. Among those who bought pages in the journal were billionaires Carl Icahn and Ira Rennert.
As honorees, members of the Rudin family, who own and manage residential and commercial real estate, received bullet-proof vests and bullets pulled from officers’ vests. The family’s patriarchs, Jack Rudin and the late Lewis Rudin, provided funds for the department to purchase the vests in the 1970s, just one of the ways they helped New York through that decade’s fiscal crisis.
With other civic leaders, they also created the Association for a Better New York, which initiated the “I Love New York” campaign.
Bill Rudin, chief executive officer of Rudin Management Co. and chairman of the Association for a Better New York, joked that his father now led meetings for the Association for a Better Heaven. Bill’s sister, Beth Rudin, joked that she was pleased to see so many tenants in the room. Jack’s son Eric Rudin, executive vice president of Rudin Management Co., also spoke, flanked by many other relatives.
Some of the projects funded by the New York City Police Foundation, such as Crime Stoppers and Gun Stop, were highlighted in a video narrated by Michael Douglas. The actor went to elementary school with the foundation’s chairman, Dale Hemmerdinger, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Tisch, Garcia, Tenebaum
In the room: Jessica Tisch, the police department’s deputy commissioner of information technology, who under Commissioner Ray Kelly served as director of policy and planning for the counter-terrorism bureau; Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the comedy club Carolines on Broadway, who said cops make great comedians; arts publicist Bettina Prentice, wearing a red Gucci dress, who recalled attending her debutante ball in the same Waldorf Astoria ballroom; and Nina Garcia, creative director of Marie Claire magazine and a judge on “Project Runway.”
Also seen was Ann Tenenbaum. She’s the chairman of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which on April 28 is giving the Chaplin Award to Rob Reiner, whose credits include playing Leonardo DiCaprio’s dad in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and directing “The Princess Bride.”