Bloomberg Lays Out Plans in State of the City Speech

  • Bloomberg called New York City the “number one city for young entrepreneurs,” pointing to recent successes like ZocDoc, Energy Hub and FourSquare. He said Deputy Mayor Bob Steel will be tasked with launching new “business incubators” that will nurture more startups.

  • Bloomberg couched this in his support for immigration reform, endorsing immigrant-friendly policies that focus on small business owners: a partnership with Citibank meant to extend more credit to small businesses, a new loan program offering loans to minority and women owned businesses who are working with the city, and providing immigrant entrepreneurs with more information on how to open businesses.

    The Associated Press

  • Bloomberg touted the city’s Workforce1 Career Centers, one-stop shops for finding employment and getting job training that he said linked 30,000 people with work last year, and pledged to open 10 new ones. He set a goal of finding jobs for 10,000 current welfare recipients. He also committed funding for Financial Empowerment Centers, a currently privately run program that offers one-on-one financial planning advice.

  • The city will launch a new local grant program that will fund neighborhood groups to “build a more environmentally sustainable city” while encouraging new wind and solar projects. Bloomberg said the city will partner with universities to create centers linking green builders to real estate developers and building owners, an initiative that he later launched as the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center.

  • A compliant storefront

    Building on last year’s mandate that restaurants receive letter grades after health inspections, Bloomberg said any restaurant that earns an “A” will be exempted from fines they would otherwise face for violations uncovered during later inspections. The city will also reduce the number of approvals necessary to open a new restaurant.

  • Noting that 97% of yellow cabs pick up riders in Manhattan or at airports despite the fact that 80% of New Yorkers live outside of Manhattan, Bloomberg said the city will designate a new category of livery cars that can pick up riders anywhere.

  • The city will continue installing technology that alerts people when their pipes are leaking, allowing them to call the plumber quickly before the problem becomes too costly.

  • Bloomberg sought to cut down the city’s legal bills, calling for the state legislature to prohibit people from suing the city for accidents when the city is not primarily at fault.

  • Currently, New York City pays New York State to collect income taxes; Bloomberg proposed allowing the city to cut down on administrative costs by taking over the process.

  • Bloated pensions have become the defining symbol of government profligacy in New York, and Bloomberg vowed to enlist Governor Andrew Cuomo’s help to trim the fat. His proposals: streamline the process by consolidating different pension systems, raise the retirement age to 65 for non-uniformed workers, cut back on holiday bonuses and give the City a seat at the table when negotiating pensions, something that is currently reserved for the State government.

    New York Magazine

  • Everything comes back to facilitating economic growth, including, Bloomberg maintained, public safety. He proposed doubling the number of volunteer school mentors who combat truancy, opening three new family centers on Rikers Island so incarcerated fathers can interact with their children, and creating a Youth Justice Center that will work exclusively with offenders younger than 21. He also urged Albany to overhaul the juvenile detention system so that convicted youth will be diverted from remote upstate facilities to centers closer to home.

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