FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LATEST STEPS TO IMPROVE AND EXPAND SERVICES PROVIDED TO NEW YORKERS 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, December 7, 2008
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"In these difficult economic times, government has a responsibility to work even harder for you and ensure that the daily services it provides are as good as they possibly can be. In fact, making sure that New York remains safe and strong - and the kind of place where people want to live, work, and visit - is essential to the city's recovery.
"Last week we took two important steps to make that happen.
"First, to help more New Yorkers find jobs, we've significantly extended the hours of operation at all seven of our Workforce 1 Career Centers. That includes adding evening and weekend hours for the first time, which will make using these centers far more convenient for New Yorkers who have other work, school, or family commitments.
"Four years ago, the City was placing barely 500 people in jobs each year. Last year, thanks to the Workforce 1 Career Centers we created, we placed more than 17,000 people in jobs. This year, despite the recession, we're on pace to match that total, and with these new extended hours, we're hopeful we'll now be able to do even more. (To find out more about the Centers, call 311 or visit nyc.gov.)
"The second way we're improving basic City services is by holding agencies accountable for the jobs they're doing. And the best way to find out how is to do what businesses do: Ask the customers, in this case, you, the people of New York City.
"Last week, in partnership with Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, we released the results of an independent questionnaire that was sent over the summer to New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Nearly 25,000 households responded, making it the largest survey of municipal services ever conducted by any American city.
"The responses showed that people think we're generally doing a very good job. For instance, 85 percent of respondents gave satisfactory or favorable ratings to the City's public safety services, including police and fire protection and police-community relations.
"We also found that the more familiar New Yorkers are with City services, the more favorable a view they tend to have of them. Take schools: 85 percent of those with children enrolled in public schools or after-school programs gave satisfactory or favorable ratings to education - compared to 75 percent of respondents overall.
"But we also discovered clear room for improvement, including areas such as preventing homelessness and providing youth employment, public housing, and public assistance.
"Armed with this valuable feedback, we now have a much better idea of what is working and what isn't - and where to invest our limited resources. And that will help ensure that, even during these tough times for everyone, City government is as effective, efficient, and responsive as possible - and that New York's brightest days are still ahead.
"This is Mayor Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958