Good afternoon. About 20 years ago, I stood in this very same room here at the Council Center and asked my neighbors for their help to take a chance on me in electing me to the City Council. Then some seven years later, I asked those same people to join with people in Queens in sending me to Congress.
There is no higher honor in a democracy than being sent by your neighbors to represent them in the United States House of Representatives.
It is particularly humbling to represent this district, because the communities and families of the 9th congressional district are hardworking, they’re patriotic, they’re opinionated, they are authentic.
I have never forgotten my neighbors because they represent the same middle class story as mine. I went to public schools my whole life, my mother was a school teacher for 32 years, my father went to law school on the GI Bill. The middle class story of New York is my story, and I’m very proud of that.
I’m here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents but I make it particularly to my wife Huma. I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do; to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.
So today I am announcing my resignation from Congress, so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative, and most importantly that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.
To repeat, most importantly, most importantly so that I can continue to heal from the damage that I have caused. I want to thank my colleagues in the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike. They come from different places around the country but fundamentally we all agree, they’re all patriots and I will miss them all.
Thank you, I also want to express my gratitude to members of my staff. They’re young people who are not paid very much, they’re people who work very hard and very long hours, ultimately those people define the notion of service. I want to thank of course the many people who’ve helped me. The people who have volunteered, the people who’ve given me advice, the many of my constituents who have offered me good ideas. And of course I want to express my gratitude to my family.
To my mother and father who instilled in me the values that have carried me this far, to my brother Jason, and of course to my wife Huma who has stood with me through this entire difficult period and to who I owe so very much.
I got into politics to help give voice to the many who simply did not have one. Now I’ll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American of ideals.
The idea that leaving a family, a community, and ultimately a country is the one thing that all unites us, the one thing we’re all focused on. With God’s help and with hard work, we will all be successful. Thank you and good afternoon.
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