PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield resident and Massachusetts House candidate Michael Bloomberg said he was inspired Wednesday night by the speech given by his famous cousin, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at the Democratic National Convention.
"I remember when Michael was first elected mayor of New York City in 2001," he said in an email. "It was just two months after 9/11, and all eyes were on New York. I watched as he, along with the entire city, created a vision, set a plan, overcame obstacles, and pushed forward in the wake of the attacks.
"It was inspiring; it still inspires me," the Holmes Road resident said. "Fast-forward 10 years from that awful day, and I was living just blocks from ground zero, taking in the energy of a city renewed, reinvigorated and stronger than ever. Watching Michael speak at the convention last night reminded me of that time in our country."
The former mayor, who eventually became an independent after having been both a Republican and a Democrat in the past, told the convention he was not speaking as a solid supporter of either party but as one who always weighs the candidate, not the party line.
Bloomberg then ripped Republican candidate Donald Trump's record as a businessman and questioned his fitness for the presidency.
"Because of my success in the private sector, I had the chance to run America's largest city for 12 years, governing in the wake of its greatest tragedy," Bloomberg said during his speech. "Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower. Someone who can bring members of Congress together to get big things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that because I saw it firsthand!"
The younger Bloomberg said afterward: "It reminded me of that time [early 2000s], because what I heard in his speech last night was not excuses, complaints or outright hatred; it was a call for community, compassion, and most importantly, progress."
Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Berkshire District in Pittsfield, facing incumbent state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier in the primary. City Councilor Christopher Connell also is seeking the House seat, running as an independent.
He added that "progress has been difficult to come by in many towns and cities around the country, including right here in Pittsfield. Wages have stayed stagnant, schools and roads have slowly crumbled, and higher taxes continue to pull funds from those who need it most ... Yet we push forward."
He added that "hard problems can't be fixed with hatred, violence, or bigotry, nor will they be fixed by tough talk, grandstanding and more of the same politics. Hard problems, require hard work, and hard work is made easier when everyone is working together. That is how we made America great, and that is how we will stay the greatest country in the world."
"What I heard from Michael last night, what makes me so proud and humbled to call him my family, was that call for progress through unity," he said. "I applaud his decision to endorse Hillary Clinton in this election, and I thank him for his support of me in my own."