“I also want to welcome, for the first time, those who don’t profess a faith but who do love our city,” the mayor said.
Jane Everhart, director of communications for New York City Atheists and a guest, was enthusiastic about the warm reception. She said that when Mr. Bloomberg first mentioned “the new people who aren’t connected to any faith but who love this city just the same,” everyone else in the room turned to look, and “this Episcopalian priest turned around and kind of saluted me, and smiled, and it was like ‘hey, welcome guys.’ ”
This all happened thanks to Nazli Parvizi, commissioner of the Community Affairs Unit, and an atheist herself.
“I always do my best to make sure every group is represented,” said Ms. Parvizi, who is an atheist herself. “I guess all these times I’ve ignored my own religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, and so we reached out to atheist societies.”
This is a welcome move from Mayor Bloomberg. For most, this may not seem like a big deal, but it shows that our efforts in getting publicity for our cause (e.g. bus campaigns and billboards) are working. People are noticing us and including us in conversations we might not have been a part of otherwise.