FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, May 13, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. If you haven't already called your mother, now would be a good time to do it. Checking in with parents is important - and it's one of the things our Administration is doing to help improve the public schools. Two weeks ago, we began sending out the first-ever Learning Environment Survey, a new tool that will help the Department of Education gather and assess information about how well schools are serving students. That survey went out to more than a million parents - all of whom should have already received a copy - either by mail or through the individual schools. We're counting on families to complete these surveys - and mail them back in their postage-paid return envelopes - by June 1st.
"For any successful organization, finding out what customers think works - or what needs work - is key to success. This kind of evaluation goes on all the time in the private sector, but not enough in government. Politicians make campaign promises, but they never evaluate their progress in meeting them. In 2005, I proposed 100 initiatives. Last week, we released a report so New Yorkers could see the progress we've made in areas like education, economic development, housing, and public safety. I'm proud to say that 96 of the 100 ideas that we presented to the voters in 2005 are either done or have been launched. In total, 439 of the 482 proposals we have put forward in both campaigns - 2001 and 2005 - have either been completed or are in progress. Here are some of the highlights:
"In education, we expanded our commitment to opening new, small secondary schools, which is a key part of our overall school reform plan. In 2005, we promised to open 250 such schools by 2009 - and with 184 already open, we're right on track to meet that goal. We also made substantial progress fulfilling another education priority when we succeeded in convincing the State to raise the cap on charter schools in our city, allowing us to add 50 more.
"In the area of economic development, we recently moved ahead on our pledge to develop Willets Point into New York's next great neighborhood. Transforming one of the city's most contaminated areas into its first truly 'green' community will fulfill a promise, and it will showcase the goals and principles of Plan-Y-C - our long term effort to build a truly sustainable city.
"To create more affordable housing, we've more than doubled our original commitment. We're now in the midst of a $7.5 billion program to build or preserve 165,000 units - enough homes for half a million New Yorkers - by the year 2013. More than a third of those units are already underway or completed.
"Finally, to improve public safety, we kept our promise to work with the State Legislature to increase penalties for illegal gun possession. We helped close loopholes in the law and made New York's penalties the strictest of any state in the nation.
"These are just some of many promises we fulfilled. Any New Yorker who's interested in tracking the progress of all 482 promises can call 311 and request a hard copy, or read the full report online at nyc.gov. Over the past 5½ years, we've worked hard to bring accountability and transparency to the operations of City government. Only by setting goals and conducting periodic evaluations can we continue moving New York City forward. With only 963 days left in office, there's not a moment to waste. We're going to continue thinking bigger and doing more to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. That's a promise I'll always keep.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address