Local elected officials reacted Friday to the passing of Edward I. Koch, 88, who served three terms as mayor of New York in the '80s, offering their condolences to his loved ones and lamenting the loss of one of New York's most iconic leaders.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz called Koch "one of our city's greatest and most charismatic leaders."
"Although he was born in the Bronx and raised in Newark, Mayor Koch lived with his family in Brooklyn as a young man, and I have no doubt it’s where he got the Brooklyn attitude, swagger and “chutzpah” that made him such a character and helped him navigate New York City through some of its most challenging times," Markowitz said.
He noted the Brooklyn flag over Borough Hall—like all City building flags—will be lowered in remembrance of Koch. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues," he continued.
Local representatives also expressed their condolences.
"Ed Koch stood for New York City, literally and figuratively," said City Councilmember Brad Lander in a statement. "When our city was at its low point in the 1970s, he fought to bring it back. His brash, honest, human style will be sorely missed." Meanwhile District Manager for Community Board 6 tweeted, "'You did just fine.' Thanks, Mayor Koch. Rest in peace."
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez offered similar remarks.
“In so many ways, Ed personified the resilient and irrepressible nature of all New Yorkers," the Congresswoman said. "He certainly pushed the envelope, but it was always with the common good at heart. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who knew and loved him.”
Congressman Jerrold Nadler also remembered Koch. "I was proud to have worked with him for years during his mayoralty and after on so many issues affecting the city and Israel, of which he was an unflinching supporter," he said.
Senator Daniel Squadron expressed his condolences via Twitter, saying "All of NYC is mourning today. We lost a giant who embodied this city in so many ways. We'll miss you, @MayorEdKoch."
The kind sentiments continued throughout the city and state.
"No New Yorker has—or likely ever will—voice their love for New York City in such a passionate and outspoken manner than Ed Koch," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "New York City would not be the place it is today without Ed Koch's leadership over three terms at City Hall. Mr. Mayor was never one to shy away from taking a stand that he believed was right, no matter what the polls said or what was politically correct."
Koch dedicated his life to the five boroughs, said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, adding he made New York a better place both during and after his time in office.
"He loved this city fiercely and it loved him back," she said. "He saved us from the brink of bankruptcy, raised our spirits, and restored our city’s reputation in the world."
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes reflected on his time working under Koch's administation.
"I have lost not only a friend but every New Yorker has lost a public servant who not only played an important role in guiding our city as a Councilman, Congressman and Mayor, but someone whose persona epitomized the city he loved," Hynes explained. "He always asked 'how am I doing?' Ed you did magnificent!"
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in many ways, Koch never stopped being mayor: "He was personally engaged in the issues of the day, including those involving the Police Department, frequently seeking information from us and offering his opinion personally and in writing."
"I was privileged to consider him a friend and I am grateful that I had a few more times to be with him," he went on, "before he finally left New York for someplace better—although, he'd probably argue that's not possible."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his condolences on behalf of all New Yorkers, calling Koch the city's most tireless, fearless and guileless civic crusader; a great mayor, man and friend.
"Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback," he said.
"No matter where you are going today, take the Edward I. Koch Bridge to get there," Bloomberg added. "He would have loved it."