FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CREATING JOBS, IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE AND MAKING EVERY DOLLAR COUNT 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, January 18, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Last Thursday's rescue of US Airways Flight 1549, which landed in the frigid waters of the Hudson River, was an incredible example of New Yorkers overcoming all the odds. And it's a story we will never forget. But that indomitable spirit is really a hallmark of our City. From the Great Depression to the World Trade Center attacks, we've always pulled together as New Yorkers and come out stronger than ever.
"Today, once again, we find ourselves at a moment of crisis - spawned by the biggest economic meltdown since the 1930s. But once again, I'm confident we'll persevere. In my State of the City speech on Thursday, I unveiled an ambitious, innovative strategy for steering New York City through this latest trial. It's a strategy that requires virtually no new additional funding and centers on three key areas.
"The first element boils down to one word: jobs. We are going to help more New Yorkers find work and stay employed by investing $10 billion in infrastructure, including building new libraries, new police stations, and the extension of the Number 7 subway line. We will provide targeted tax relief to small businesses - which provide employment to half our workforce - and we'll make it easier for them to open and expand.
"We'll also help New Yorkers train for the jobs of tomorrow, like those in our growing 'green' industries. And through projects like modernizing the produce market in the South Bronx, we will continue diversifying our economy and reducing our dependence on Wall Street. It's all part of our nine-point plan to create 400,000 new jobs over the next six years. But best thing we can do for our economy is to continue improving our City's quality of life - and that's the second element of our strategy. Over the coming year, we'll make America's safest big city even safer by, for example, turning up the heat on the worst quality-of-life criminals. We will build new parks along our waterfront so New Yorkers have even more spaces to play.
"As part of our ongoing public school reforms, we will set up an information hotline for parents - as part of 311 - so they have an even bigger role in their children's education. And using $62 million in public and private financing, we will renovate and resell foreclosed homes to head off the kind of blight and abandonment that has afflicted neighborhoods during previous recessions.
"The third element of our economic recovery strategy involves finding new efficiencies in City government while working even harder for New Yorkers during this time of need. We will, for example, help homeless families leave shelters more quickly. We will strip away the bureaucracy that drives up the cost of construction. We'll also improve the fuel efficiency of City vehicles and reduce our fleet of non-emergency cars by 10 percent. And we'll work with Albany to reform our outdated pension system, which could save taxpayers $7.4 billion over the next 20 years.
"Our strategy is not a cure-all. But if we manage our budget wisely and stretch every dollar to maintain our great quality of life, then we can pull through this recession and bring our economy back faster than expected. New Yorkers have always triumphed in the face of adversity - and I am confident that, together, we will do so once again.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958