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Schwarzenegger Urges New York Inner City Youth to Have 'Big Dreams' - 2003-08-11

Movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger brought his campaign to be California's next governor to New York Monday.

Mr. Schwarzenegger's advisors are quick to point out that his appearance at New York's City College in Harlem was planned long before he threw his hat into the ring last week in the race to be California governor. But his brief appearance had all the markings of a campaign, including a cheering young audience, nationwide media coverage, and an uplifting message.

"Never concentrate and think about where you come from," he said. "Do not worry about that. Worry about only one thing and concentrate on one thing and that is where you are going."

Mr. Schwarzenegger was in New York to attend a ceremony renaming an inner cities school program the "After School All Stars."

Last week he added his name to the list of candidates running to replace California Governor Gray Davis, who faces the first gubernatorial recall election in more than 80 years.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, once Mr. Universe, came to the United States from Austria and soon became an action movie hero. He married into the politically powerful Kennedy family and has flirted with politics on and off over the years. But this is his first run for office.

He is the chairman of the Inner City Games Foundation, which started after school sports programs in Los Angeles. It has expanded and now includes educational and computer programs after school for children in more than a dozen U.S. cities, including New York. Mr. Schwarzenegger encourages young people to stay off the streets and in the schools, preparing for the future.

"Have big dreams. That was my secret. Have big dreams and go after those dreams," he said. "You can go after being a doctor, an educator, a police chief, a politician, an actor, professional athlete. It makes no difference what it is. You can do it."

Mr. Schwarzenegger has long been an advocate for children, but analysts have yet to pin down his positions on many other issues, including ways to mend California's disastrous economic situation. Despite the the large number of reporters and cameras at the New York event, he did not take questions.