City Hall’s Doors will be open to the Public for Free Viewing of Historic Inauguration

December 22nd, 2008 – Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and the New York City Council announce that City Hall will open its doors to all New Yorkers on January 20th, 2009 – Inauguration Day – so they can come together to view the historic moment that President-Elect Barack Obama is sworn into office. Voter turnout in the 2008 election was a record high and the enthusiasm that began back in November has continued and has created significant interest in the inauguration. Recognizing that during these difficult financial times, many New Yorkers may be unable to make the trip to Washington DC for the inauguration, The City Council has decided to open up its side of City Hall to the public for the occasion. Specifically, the City Council will set up big screen televisions in City Council Chambers, The Committee Room, and The Rotunda. The doors for the event will open at 10:30am and the event will continue throughout the day until President-Elect Obama’s speech has concluded. New Yorkers who are interested in coming to City Hall on inauguration day should RSVP by January 16, 2009 to (212) 442-1649 or email to

“The historic inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama has drawn the attention and hope of millions of Americans and New Yorkers alike,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We know that many New Yorkers are planning to go to Washington DC, but we also know that many New Yorkers will be unable to make the trip – especially in these difficult financial times. As a result, we have decided to open up our local hall of government so that all New Yorkers have a place to come together to experience this truly historic transition of power.”

“I know that all New Yorkers are as thrilled as I am to see the historic swearing in of Barack Obama as our country’s 44th President,” said Co-Chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus Robert Jackson. “By opening up City Hall to everyone so that they may view this event, the City Council is welcoming in all New Yorkers to share in this moment together and experience the power of service and change that government can bring.”

“I am thrilled that New Yorkers will have an opportunity to come and watch this historic inauguration at the home of our City government,” said Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus Maria del Carmen Arroyo. “This event will give many in New York the opportunity to come together to celebrate democracy and this special moment for our country.”

“Of course the doors of City Hall should be open on this historic occasion,” said Council Member Albert Vann. “The inauguration of President-Elect Obama will be a profound experience that New Yorkers for generations to come will reflect upon. This is a time to come together, celebrate and prepare to move forward as a city and as a nation.”

“On November 4th, I along with Americans across the country voted for Hope, and Change,” said Council Member Helen D. Foster. “Together, we made history when we elected Senator Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. His message of change and hope has generated a movement, a movement of inclusion of all people. It is only fitting that New York City Hall be made available so all New Yorkers can witness and share in being a part of history. This is a proud moment for our country and the world that should not be missed.”

“Given the historic results of the 2008 Presidential Election, where this country chose the first ever African American to the most powerful position in the world, who ran on a message of change and the reinvention of competent government, we must assure that any child, adult, or senior who wants to experience the inauguration and acceptance speech of President-elect Barack Obama has a place in which to do so,” said Council Member Thomas White, Jr. “This is also an opportunity to inspire people to serve their communities, volunteer for causes greater than themselves, or enter a rewarding career in public sector.”

“This past November, people from every corner of our nation, from every walk of life, took part in one of the most historic elections in our nation’s history,” said Council Member Maria Baez. “I can think of no better way to keep the spirit of that day alive than by opening up Council Chambers, the seat of democracy in our City, so that we can all come together and once again be a witness to history when Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.”