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PR- 506-09
November 20, 2009


Losing Mayor was Required to Participate in Volunteer Service Project in Winning City while Wearing Winning Team's Jersey

Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Nutter are Founding Members of Cities of Service, a new Coalition of Mayors Working to Increase Volunteer Activity in Cities Across the Country

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter today settled a first-of-its kind bet on the World Series by joining Publicolor to help paint J.H.S. 131, the Albert Einstein School, in the Bronx.  Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Nutter – founding members of Cities of Service, a new coalition of Mayors working to increase volunteer activity in cities across the county – made the bet to encourage more people to give back to their communities.  The terms of the bet dictated the losing mayor would travel to the winning city to join the winning mayor in a volunteer service project, while wearing the winning team’s jersey. Mayor Nutter honored the bet by painting while wearing a number 55 Yankees home jersey, in honor of World Series Most Valuable Player Hideki Matsui.  Mayor Bloomberg wore a number 27 Yankees home jersey in honor of the Yankees 27th title.  The Mayors each committed to a volunteer project in their city – Mayor Bloomberg committed to the Publicolor project and Mayor Nutter committed to painting a mural with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program – regardless of the outcome of the World Series. The Mayors were joined by New York City First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, the City’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford, New York City Sports  Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba, Publicolor Founder and President Ruth Lande Shuman, J.H.S. 131 Principle Ed Leotta and 25 students participating in the Publicolor program.

“The Phillies were a tough team, but I knew Mayor Nutter was going to end up looking great in pinstripes,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Yankees are the World Champions, but the real winners are of course the students with us today who are learning how they can make a difference in their own school.  The Cities of Service coalition Mayor Nutter and I are a part of is working to support similar efforts that strengthen our communities in cities across the country.  I want to thank Mayor Nutter for being so gracious and helping to promote the power of community service.”

“Congratulations on the New York Yankees victory.  I am sure that the team and Mayor Bloomberg will do a great job of looking after the World Series Trophy until the Phillies take it back next year,” said Mayor Nutter.  “In the meantime, I am happy to help Publicolor repaint the Albert Einstein School. Publicolor is a vibrant organization that not only engages students in refreshing their school, but also gives them real world skills.  I also look forward to working with Mural Arts in Philadelphia to paint a mural on a neighborhood Recreation Center.”

“We were thrilled and honored to be selected as the volunteer service organization for the Mayors’ World Series wager,” said Publicolor Founder and President Ruth Lande Shuman. “It was fabulous to have Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Nutter pick up a roller and paint alongside our extraordinary students.”

Modell’s Sporting Goods donated Yankee baseball caps for the students participating in the program today and the Yankee jerseys worn by the Mayors.  The Mayors signed the jerseys and gave them to the school as gift to commemorate the community service work performed today.

About Cities of Service

Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors from across the country who are working together to engage millions more volunteers in service.  The coalition was founded in September by mayors from 16 cities and coalition already has grown to more than 40 mayors representing more than 27 million Americans.  Cities of Service reflects the mayors’ belief that healthy, vibrant cities are those whose citizens volunteer their time and talent to keep communities strong and help neighbors in need. The coalition shares strategies on how best to engage citizens at the local level, and provides a platform for the mayors to make their voices heard – and their priorities known – in Washington.  The coalition utilizes lead support from the Rockefeller Foundation to provide technical assistance and other support to member mayors, including funding full-time Chief Service Officers in select cities to develop and implement comprehensive service programs.  The coalition was formed just five months after President Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which increased funding for service programs across the country.

About Publicolor

Publicolor is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1996 that teaches at-risk students the marketable skill of commercial painting, engages them in their education, and empowers them to prepare for college and career. Publicolor’s continuum of youth development and educational programs starts with teaching students to paint vibrant colors in their schools, and ultimately works to get students into college.  Learning strong, transferable work habits and paid painting apprenticeships are embedded in the curriculum. Publicolor students are also exposed to career and life skills workshops, tutoring and mentoring from Publicolor’s corporate volunteers. For more information visit

About City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

The Mural Arts Program is the nation’s largest mural program.  Since 1984, Mural Arts has created nearly 3,000 murals and works of public art, which are now part of Philadelphia’s civic landscape and a source of inspiration to the thousands of residents and visitors who encounter them, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.”  Mural Arts engages over 100 communities each year in the transformation of neighborhoods through the mural-making process, while award-winning, free art education programs annually serve nearly 2,000 youth at sites throughout the city and at-risk teens through education outreach programs.  Mural Arts also serves adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.


Stu Loeser / Marc La Vorgna (Mayor Bloomberg)   (212) 788-2958

Maura Kennedy (Mayor Nutter)   (215) 686-6210

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