Breakfast at Gracie Mansion

New Year meeting with New York City's mayor


Breakfast at Gracie Mansion
by Jamshid S. Irani

Monday morning I had the great honor of meeting personally with  New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on the occasion of the old and traditional Norooz celebration at his official residence at Gracie Mansion. I had met him before; however, this morning was a turning point in my judgment of him as he proved to be a practical and a no non-sense human being, not just a politician.
Himself a descendant of an immigrant family, he demonstrated many understandings the communities are going through now. But first, allow me to convey to you his message of great contribution of immigrants, including Iranians, to the New York City community, and diversity which has made New York City a unique fabric of an outstanding city in the country.

Mayor Bloomberg has now made it an official part of his calendar to annually invite a selected number of community members for a Norooz breakfast and to express his gratitude for the contribution of Iranians and other Farsi-speaking people to the New York City and the United States.
His Honor spoke of Lou Dobbs, the anti-immigrant and war-monger mouth of the Republican Party who fear immigrants will take over the country and drive out its citizens. Mayor Bloomberg spoke of the facts the immigrants have brought in with their hard work and tax money. He spoke of well-balanced judges he appoints at the city level. He spoke of the women’s rights and immigrants’ rights. He spoke about his former wife’s work in Iran before the 1979 Revolution. He spoke of college-educated immigrants filling up the state colleges and universities. He cited statistics which showed 75% of immigrants, even those who are here illegally, paid taxes which help the city function its daily duties. He even mentioned many of these people who pay taxes do so with an incorrect Social Security numbers; but, they do pay taxes. Mayor Bloomberg has parted from his Republican and Democratic counterparts in supporting an immigration law which could provide legal status to millions of people having lived here illegally for many years. He indicated the country would go bankrupt in mass deportation ever takes place.
Mayor Bloomberg signed, in 2003, Executive Order 41, a privacy policy, which “prohibits New York City agencies from asking about a person’s immigration status and from sharing that information with others.” This policy helps to bridge all New Yorkers to vital City services. He advises New York City residents, clearly addressing the illegal residents, not to be afraid to go to a doctor, hospital or emergency room. As a responsible Mayor he openly talks to his people that the government has not passed any new law about immigrants and that undocumented immigrants can get medical care in New York City with no fear. He goes on to say that “our commitment is strong and it is our promise to all undocumented immigrants.”
In this past election year when all politicians walk a tight rope on the immigration issue and no one has the guts to stand up and speak for nearly 15 million undocumented immigrants in the country, Mayor Bloomberg is a voice to listen to. He once decided to run as an Independent for President, but, now he sees the situation as crazy and pixilated. He is clearly disappointed with the political process. Sending 12 millions people back to their countries after having lived here for many years just does not make any sense.” What Mayor Bloomberg expresses, with no fear from other politicians, is the voice of the people in the country. People do not recognize the contributions immigrants have made to our society. Mayor Bloomberg’s message of Norooz to Iranians and his courage to speak out should be heard by other politicians. Immigrants make communities vibrant and prosperous. They seek a peaceful life with the lowest crime rate in the country and highest tax payers therein.
We Iranians should encourage our politicians to heed to the message of Michael Bloomberg .. We should get this message to them. We cannot and should not sit idle and let the events take us with them. We should make the events. We should be part of the events. We should not let this opportunity slip away from us. We should speak out, we should vote and we should help shape events. A once-a-year parade is good but never enough to represent our community.

Self-promotion, self-publicity and individualism do not and have not helped our community grow and be part of the melting pot. Our cultural, social and political organizations (if any) should follow consistency in promoting our community not their own agendas. A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds. We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are. We should have a united voice.
James S. Irani, an attorney from New York City, is the president of the Voice of Iranian-Americans at 347 Fifth Avenue, Suite 908, New York, New York 10016, Tel: (212) 683-7700.



Dear Mr. Irani

by farrad02 on

Thanks for your efforts.

Well done!



by Anonymous.. (not verified) on

Now if you would please encourage him to ease up on his support for expanding the jewish settlements on occuppied territories, and assist in reining in the zionists' racist behavior in Israel instead of donating millions to them each year that would be just lovely.

Mohammad Ala

Thank you.

by Mohammad Ala on

Mr. Irani:

Thanks for your time and efforts. 



i bet he knew Mr.Irani my dear , they both are down to earth !

by hadipesar on

It's been four long years since i took that very first step on American soil ,which is now my home country ,I am an Iranian-American ,one of which who have had trusted the most trust worthly man in Iranian-American affairs ! thank you Mr.Irani.


Did the mayor know you were Irani?

by gol-dust on

Just wondering how you got to know him? Best of luck!


Dr Mr Irani

by Souri on

Congratulation!! Thanks for sharing this great news with all of us. I'm very proud of you and Happy New year to you and the family.......But don't forget you still didn't do anything for me :-)) 


Breakfast was

by Nifky (not verified) on

Breakfast was noon paneer chayee and kaleh pacheh.