Mayor Bill de Blasio will mark his first 100 days on the job with a speech tomorrow at Cooper Union celebrating his accomplishment so far and laying out his far-reaching priorities going forward.
Ahead of the speech, First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris released a memo touting the “Recent Administration Accomplishments” and previewing the issues Mr. de Blasio is expected to address.
“Over the next few months, the administration will deliver more actions,” he wrote, “including an affordable housing plan to create and preserve nearly 200,000 affordable units, steps to raise wages and workplace benefits, reduce fines on small businesses, and increase broadband access to some of our most neglected communities. And we will ensure the government continues to tick with increased efficiency and professionalism, focusing on the best possible delivery and implementation of core city services.”
“There’s a lot more work to be done to make us one city, rising together. That’s the Mayor’s mission – and these last three months are only a sign of things to come,” he added.
The speech, titled “Address on New York City’s Futures on New York City,” will take place tomorrow at noon, and is expected to focus on “the measurable progress” that Mr. de Blasio’s administration has made since he took office, according to City Hall.
Among the accomplishments the administration is most proud of: securing $300 million per year in state money to pay for a major expansion of universal, full-day pre-K, efforts undertaken to ease tensions between communities and police, and the expansion of mandatory paid sick days for tens of thousands more New Yorkers.
“In his inaugural address, Mayor de Blasio pledged to ‘take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities,’” Mr. Shorris wrote. “Since taking office, he has done exactly that – making real, measurable progress in a host of areas.”
View the full memo below:
Taking Aim at the Tale of Two Cities
In his inaugural address, Mayor de Blasio pledged to “take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities.” Since taking office, he has done exactly that – making real, measurable progress in a host of areas. He enacted an expanded paid sick leave measure, helping 500,000 New Yorkers in need. Along with
Commissioner Bratton, he has begun to end the overuse of stop-and-frisk — and set new standards for public safety – focusing on reducing crime by connecting with communities. He negotiated agreements that require developers to build thousands of units of affordable housing. And he presented an honest, fiscally responsible budget plan that protects core services and puts our city on a stable financial footing.
In an end to 16 years of political gridlock, Mayor de Blasio took on Albany and secured the most expansive pre-K and after-school funding in New York City history. He’s led the city through a record eight snowstorms and a gut-wrenching tragedy in East Harlem. Along the way, he’s appointed a team that represents New York’s diversity and excellence.
Promoting Public Safety
Mayor de Blasio has stated clearly that “we believe in our obligation, the most fundamental one that there is in government, to keep people safe.” Some argued his plan to fight crime while protecting civil liberties would “take the city back to the bad old days when the bad guys owned the streets.”
Mayor de Blasio has proven the critics wrong.
The administration is committed to keeping crime trends low. In collaboration with Commissioner Bratton, he has begun to end the stop-and-frisk era and focused on healing the divide between police and communities, proving there’s no trade-off between public safety and respectful, effective policing.
He has announced the city was dropping its legal challenge to the racial profiling ban, settled the stop-and-frisk case of Floyd vs. City of New York, and welcomed the appointment of Philip Eure as the NYPD’s first independent Inspector General (IG). As the Amsterdam News editorial board wrote, “New York City is starting to right some of the wrongs that have affected our communities for decades.”
But the Mayor’s commitment to safety doesn’t end with policing. Through his “Vision Zero” plan, he has put forth a citywide effort to reduce traffic fatalities, including ramped up enforcement of speeding, redesigns of dangerous corridors, improved taxi safety, and expanded use of speed cameras. From January to March, traffic deaths were down 26 percent, compared to the same period last year.
Strengthening Education For All Our Children
Sixteen years after New York first promised universal pre-K for every child, Mayor de Blasio delivered on his commitment to secure funding to make universal pre-K a reality, once and for all.
As we move toward full implementation of the city’s plan, the Mayor has already detailed concrete elements of the expansion, including available seats and sites eager to participate. Applications are rolling in from across the city – a testament to how great the demand is for quality early education opportunities for our kids.
Kenneth Sherrill, retired politics professor at Hunter College, said, “He got pre-k on the agenda and then got it funded, even if it wasn’t the way he wanted to fund it. He made something happen that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.” The New York Times Editorial Board has echoed this sentiment, arguing that the mayor “has the whole state talking about universal prekindergarten – not whether it will happen, but how, and how soon. That’s remarkable.”
The Mayor premised his candidacy on his belief that New York could be united around an effort to reduce inequality – and he has made concrete progress toward that goal.
Mayor de Blasio expanded paid sick leave protections to more than 500,000 New Yorkers. He began the process of expanding living wage laws and agreements to include more workers, including striking an agreement with Related Companies to pay living wages to 1,650 workers at Hudson Yards. He proposed instituting municipal IDs, so no New Yorker is forced to live in the shadows of our city. And he settled a long-running discrimination lawsuit with the Vulcan Society, taking steps to increase recruitment of minority and female firefighter candidates.
On health care, the Mayor has put action behind his commitment to protecting vital community services, helping to broker a settlement between SUNY and Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and working to secure an $8 billion Medicaid waiver from the federal government.
On housing, he reached a groundbreaking agreement to allow the redevelopment of the Domino sugar site in Williamsburg, expanding and guaranteeing permanent affordable housing, and spurred the redevelopment of a dozen formerly vacant city-owned lots along Livonia Avenue in East New York. And he has taken aggressive steps to reform two of the city’s largest homeless shelters, making them adult-only facilities and moving vulnerable children out of unsafe buildings.
For low-income New Yorkers afflicted with HIV/AIDS, the Mayor worked with Albany to institute a 30 percent rent cap on a local rental assistance program. He also successfully convinced New York State to remove restrictions that prevented state funds from being used for rental subsidies for homeless families.
And, on his second day in office, during the height of winter, the Mayor reversed the previous administration’s position and activated “Code Blue”, guaranteeing shelter for all homeless families and children when temperatures dropped below 32 degrees.
Running an Effective Government
Mayor de Blasio’s favorite Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia once famously said that “there is no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage.” The Mayor has taken this maxim to heart, ensuring city services are delivered efficiently and effectively. He believes we need to aggressively manage our local government of over 300,000 employees with its nearly $80 billion budget.
He has responded aggressively to eight snowstorms, marshaling the full attention and resources of the City while keeping our streets clean and kids safe in school.
During the unexpected tragedy in East Harlem, his administration responded swiftly and decisively to the collapse of two buildings due to a gas explosion – coordinating a multi-agency response, launching a fundraising drive and strategic relief plan, providing temporary housing for all affected victims, facilitating case management and counseling services, and conducting immigrant-focused, community-based outreach to a community still in shock.
With too many New Yorkers still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Mayor reallocated $100 million in funding to ensure every home destroyed by the storm will get rebuilt, regardless of the homeowner’s income or program prioritization. He’s ordered changes to the “Build it Back” program to cut red tape and streamline the process – resulting in checks finally going out and the first construction starting. And, together with Senator Charles Schumer, he’s announced $100 million in federal funding to replace temporary boilers in NYCHA facilities devastated by the storm.
The administration focused heavily on core quality of life concerns. When potholes proliferated due to the harsh winter weather, the Mayor announced increased investments in pothole repairs, launching a pothole-filling campaign that broke repair records across the five boroughs.
And, keeping true to his promise of ensuring our budget decisions reflect our values and priorities, the Mayor released a fiscally responsible, progressive preliminary budget, praised by the likes of both progressive activists and watchdogs like the Citizens Budget Commission.
Looking Ahead: Rising Together as One City
Mayor de Blasio has racked up some significant accomplishments in a short span of time, taking tangible steps to improve the lives of New Yorkers and chip away at the Tale of Two Cities that our city had become.
I’ve known the Mayor for years – and one thing I’ve always admired and respected about him is that he never views his mission through a short-term lens. He’s focused on the long game. He wants to ensure that his work is lasting, broad-based, and meaningful to New Yorkers.
Over the next few months, the administration will deliver more actions, including an affordable housing plan to create and preserve nearly 200,000 affordable units, steps to raise wages and workplace benefits, reduce fines on small businesses, and increase broadband access to some of our most neglected communities. And we will ensure the government continues to tick with increased efficiency and professionalism, focusing on the best possible delivery and implementation of core city services.
There’s a lot more work to be done to make us one city, rising together. That’s the Mayor’s mission – and these last three months are only a sign of things to come.