FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG RELEASES 2005 CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT
Administration is Fulfilling 96% of Promises Made During 2005 Campaign
Citizens Union Asks All Candidates to Follow Mayor's Lead and Submit Public Self-Evaluation
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released his third Campaign Accountability Report, showing that nearly a year and a half after Election Day 2005, 96% of the 100 campaign promises the Mayor made during the 2005 campaign have either been fully implemented or are currently being implemented. In all, 439 of the 482 promises the Mayor made during the 2001 and 2005 campaigns - over 91% - have either been completed or are currently being implemented. The independent, non-partisan good-government group Citizens Union joined the Mayor to ask all candidates to conduct periodic self-evaluations along the lines of the Mayor's report, and announced that they will take such evaluations into account when making recommendations for public office. Citizens Union Chairman Richard J. Davis and Executive Director Dick Dadey spoke at the report's release at the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture in Ozone Park, which the Mayor promised to create during the 2005 campaign and opened last fall.
"When I first ran for office, I promised to be accountable to the public - and over the past five-and-a-half years, we have done just that. We are fulfilling more than 91% of our campaign promises - and that has resulted in 40-year-low crime, record-low unemployment, a historic affordable housing program, and progress in our schools system," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last 969 days of my Administration, we will continue to implement the promises I made to voters during the campaigns. And if the proposals prove unworkable, we will tell the public why. That's what accountability is all about. It's great news that the Citizens Union - an organization dedicated to bringing out the best in government - will now ask all politicians to be accountable to voters by releasing self-evaluations."
"Over the past several years, the Citizens Union has more clearly defined the reform and policy issues, and the criteria, we use in evaluating candidates for elected office," said Chairman Davis. "Our actions today are but just one more step in our efforts to hold elected officials accountable for the promises they make. The issue is not whether one agrees with the promises made by a candidate or with what they have done to implement them. The issue is public officials making information available to the pubic to enable the public to evaluate their performance. We commend Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership in reporting back to voters how well he thinks he has done to fulfill his campaign promises so that voters have a more informed basis for judging him."
"Holding elected officials accountable for their pledges and actions has been a mainstay of Citizens Union's century long work on behalf of the public interest," said Executive Director Dadey. "By now calling upon elected officials to also hold themselves publicly accountable by conducting their own self-evaluations, we hope voters will have more information to better judge them against the promises made during previous campaigns. We believe that these self evaluations will serve as an effective tool in bringing greater integrity to the actions of elected officials and go a long way toward building stronger public trust in the affairs of government."
Since 1910, Citizens Union has evaluated and supported candidates for public office that are most capable of advancing the public interest of good government and political reform. The organization currently takes into consideration whether candidates live up to promises made in previous interviews with the group when deciding who to recommend for election. Now, Citizens Union will ask elected officials to provide evidence of self-evaluation - similar to the Mayor's Campaign Accountability Report - when making recommendations.
The Campaign Accountability Report includes promises on a wide variety of topics that reach across almost all agencies of City government - from improving education and building more affordable housing to expediting the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and infusing more accountability into the City's public assistance programs. Posted on nyc.gov, the report gives New Yorkers a chance to review for themselves the progress made on each promise.
In the 18 months since the 2005 election, 38 of 100 proposals have been completed, and another 58 are currently being implemented - meaning a total of 96% of 2005 promises are being fulfilled. Examples of 2005 promises that have been completed include the expansion of the affordable housing program by two and a half times, the creation of ACCESS NYC, the changing of State laws to close the gun trafficking loophole and increasing penalties for felony gun possession, and the creation of a strategic growth management plan. Examples of 2005 promises that have been launched include the rezoning of Jamaica, the transformation of the City Board of Elections, and the proposal to work with cell phone carriers to provide emergency notifications and information via cell phone text messaging.
The report also re-examined the 186 promises made during the 2001 campaign that had not yet been fully implemented during the first term, and found that the percentage of fulfilled promises rose from 86% to 90%. Also since that time, the percentage of proposals that have been fully completed rose from 51% to 68%. Examples of proposals that were completed since the last report include rebuilding a headquarters for the Office of Emergency Management, developing a solid waste management plan, increasing the number of certified teachers, and setting goals for reductions of emissions and pollutants. The Administration has yet to take action on only two promises made in 2001 - a total of .52%, down from 7.6% in the 2004 report.
Several promises that were reconsidered as of the last report were studied further and have been launched, such as the proposal to install countdown clocks to notify pedestrians how much time is left to cross the street, the promise to "beef up" the inspection staff at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to transform it from a reactionary agency to one that performs cyclical inspections, and the proposal to launch a program encouraging New Yorkers to compost food on a voluntary basis.
The report breaks down the proposals into six categories (see chart): Done, Done*, Launched, To Launch, Not Done, and Reconsidered. The report found that 38 proposals from the 2005 campaign have been "Done," meaning the proposal has been implemented, or "Done*," meaning the proposal has been implemented and work continues, 58 have been "Launched," meaning action has been taken to implement the proposal. One proposal is categorized as "To Launch," meaning a course of action has been designed and will soon be implemented. Two were "Not Done," meaning the administration has not taken any action, planning or otherwise, but still intends to pursue the proposal. One proposal has been "Reconsidered," meaning the administration has decided not to implement the proposal or has taken actions contrary to the promise or proposal.
For promises made during the 2001 campaign, 258 are "Done" or "Done*," 85 have been "Launched," and two are "Not Done." The Administration has reconsidered implementing 37 proposals from the 2001 campaign, although the intent of some has been achieved through other means. For example, in 2001, the Mayor proposed to use a solid waste transfer facility in Linden, New Jersey. The Administration, however, developed and secured passage of the more comprehensive, environmentally-friendly, and equitable Solid Waste Management Plan in 2006. Under the plan, the City's trash will primarily be transported by barge and rail using intermodal facilities, and each borough will be responsible for its own garbage. As a result, Sanitation trucks will travel about 2.7 million fewer miles per year, and travel by tractor-trailer trucks will be reduced by 3 million miles per year.
The Campaign Accountability Report can be viewed at www.nyc.gov/campaignpromises. If a New York City resident wants to receive a paper copy of the database, he or she can call 311.
Stu Loeser / Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958
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2001 Campaign Promises (in pdf)
2005 Campaign Promises (in pdf)
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