Saturday, May 24, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation - Optimism

I post this article because over 20 years ago when I was a anti-arson organizer for the People's Firehouse in Brooklyn I used to play basketball with NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson. It's truly amazing to see him with two lifelong enemies from Northern Ireland coming together to make a better life for both Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. I just returned from visiting Northern Ireland for the first time in my life and hearing about the improvement the peace process has made in Northern Ireland. A testimony to optimism and how people can work together.......

NYC Pledges Millions for North
April 16, 2008
By April Drew

FIRST Minister of Northern Ireland Dr. Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were in New York on Friday welcoming the announcement of a $150 million investment from New York Pension Funds to Northern Ireland.

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson announced the largest U.S. investment to date since the peace process in the north at his office.

Thompson, chief advisor to the New York City Pension Funds, committed to investing $150 million with the potential of eventually reaching $750 million.

“This announcement follows the Pension Funds’ longstanding, 20-year commitment to promoting peace and equality of opportunity for all in Northern Ireland,” he said......

“Now is an attractive time for investment… in this stable political environment,” said Thompson, a probable candidate for New York Mayor next year.

Paisley, who was stunned into silence by the multi million-dollar investment — “I never thought I’d say this but I am speechless,” he said — graciously thanked Thompson and his colleagues “from the depths” of his heart and said such an investment will provide “great stimulus” to Northern Ireland at this time.

“Their decision to choose Northern Ireland as a place to do business ma-kes this a truly great day for us and for New Yo-rk,” he added.

“This in-vestment confirms that North-ern Ireland has turned a corner. We are now a sound in-vestment location that can provide the right caliber of people and projects to successfully underpin further inward investment, particularly from the U.S.,” said Paisley.

McGuinness, who accompanied Paisley on a four-day visit to the U.S. in an effort to promote the Northern Ireland investment conference in Belfast next month, described the investment as “another piece of history.”

“New York led the way and Bill Thompson put its money where its mouth is,” said McGuinness.

Read full article....

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