FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES WAYS CITY CAN HELP STRENGTHEN NON-PROFIT SECTOR DURING ECONOMIC DOWNTURN 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, April 12, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"I often praise the work of the more than 300,000 City government employees who keep New York running morning, noon, and night. But there's another group of people out there who are just as vital. They work hand-in-hand with City government to deliver essential social services, support arts and cultural institutions, and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the City.
"I'm talking about the nearly half million New Yorkers who are employed by non-profit organizations. Our City has more than 40,000 nonprofit groups, and right now many of them are facing the double challenge of shrinking financial resources and increasing demand for their services.
"Last week, we unveiled a strategic plan to help these critical organizations weather the economic storm. One strategy is to help them reduce their fixed costs by pooling their purchases of goods and services so they can essentially buy in bulk at cheaper rates. Right now, we're testing that idea with three of our City's major social service non-profits. If it works, group purchasing will soon be available to every non-profit group in the five boroughs, and the potential savings should run into many millions of dollars.
"We're also making the City's contracting process quicker, easier to navigate, and more accountable. We're providing better information - including weekly status updates for contractors - on the City's website, nyc.gov. And we're making other improvements to the contracting process that will help the City pay non-profits more promptly.
"But even under the most streamlined process, there will sometimes be gaps between when organizations deliver services and when we reimburse them. That's why we've also proposed to increase the City's pool of interest-free bridge loans by some 150%, bringing the total fund to $20 million.
"We'll also help non-profit groups strengthen their management and do more with less. Our new initiative called 'Greater New York' will pair private sector executives with their counterparts in non-profits that do business with the city. These two-year partnerships will help non-profit groups come up with new, creative solutions to some of their greatest business challenges.
"Public-private partnerships like Greater New York will be critical to getting through these tough times and to continue making our city a better place. Just last week, in fact, we announced new funding for a public-private partnership called Million Trees NYC.
"Working with nonprofit partners, we're going to plant one million trees by 2017. We've already planted 174,000 new trees across the five boroughs - and on Wednesday, President Obama's Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, joined us to announce that the federal government would be providing $2 million to create new jobs for the graduates of our Million Trees training program.
"All of the initiatives I've just described will help us keep New York working - and keep our city moving forward. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address