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PR- 297-11
August 17, 2011


Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The five bills before me today encourage the production and procurement of locally grown food and reduce wasteful packaging. 

“The first bill is Introductory Number 452-A, sponsored by Council Members Brewer, Cabrera, Foster, James, Lander, Palma, Rodriguez, Rose, Williams, Levin, Chin, Van Bramer, Lappin, Recchia, Vallone, Crowley, Mark-Viverito, Garodnick, Gonzalez, Weprin, Koppell, Wills, Jackson, Gennaro, Barron and Ulrich.

“The City’s purchasing of New York food isn’t just good for our State’s economy and our own personal health — it’s oftentimes also cheaper for the City and its taxpayers.  Introductory Number 452-A seeks to take advantage of these benefits by providing agencies with more tools to foster the purchasing of food grown, produced, harvested, or processed in New York State.  After publishing guidelines to assist in this effort, the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services will monitor the implementation of the guidelines and provide training to agency staff.  On an annual basis, the Office will also publish on its web site a report detailing, among other indicators, the amount and type of food each agency procured that comes from New York State.  It also requires the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to ask their vendors to provide the agency with information relating to the origin of their food.

“These provisions will help the City and the public better track where agencies’ food comes from and where tax dollars are spent.  It will also result in agencies buying much more food from farms and processing facilities in the Empire State — a commendable goal indeed.

“The next bill before me is Introductory Number 461-A, sponsored by Council Members Palma, Brewer, Cabrera, Chin, Foster, Gentile, James, Koppell, Rose, Williams, Nelson, Mark-Viverito, Levin, Van Bramer, Lappin, Recchia, Vallone, Crowley, Lander, Garodnick, Gonzalez, Weprin, Wills, Jackson, Gennaro, Barron and Ulrich.

“Introductory Number 461-A requires the Director of Citywide Environmental Purchasing and the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to create and post on-line guidelines to help vendors reduce, reuse, and recycle materials used in the packaging of goods procured by the City.  It also requires these offices to recognize vendors that consistently follow those guidelines.

“Since the 1990’s, the City has included in each of its bid solicitations the request that vendors reduce the amount of material they use to pack goods purchased by the City.  The guidelines created pursuant to Introductory Number 461-A will build on the City’s efforts to ensure that the waste created in the procurement of goods is kept at a minimum.

“The next bill before me today is Introductory Number 248-A, sponsored by Council Members Fidler, Brewer, Chin, Gentile, Koppell, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Nelson, Sanders, Vann, Williams, Rodriguez, Dickens, Weprin, Van Bramer, Lappin, Jackson, Gennaro, Garodnick, Barron, Halloran and Koo.  Introductory Number 248-A establishes reporting requirements on the status of city-owned real property.

“New York City owns or leases a diverse inventory of over 15,000 properties including: public facilities such as schools, police and fire stations and libraries; agency facilities like office buildings or warehouses; and leased properties such as parking lots and piers.  The Department of Citywide Administrative Services maintains the Integrated Property Information System, which imports property characteristics from various City agencies.  This property information is available to the public through various sources, including the Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) and the Gazetteer of City Property.  The Gazetteer is an important data source that is specific to City property and PLUTO is a software program that includes information about all properties within the City. 

“Introductory Number 248-A requires DCAS to keep and maintain a searchable database of all city-owned and leased property, including information regarding the location and current use of such property and whether it is suitable for urban agriculture.  The searchable database will combine all of the city-owned or leased real property information that is currently available through the PLUTO and the Gazetteer and will be made available to the public at no charge beginning on December 17, 2011.

“The next bill before me is Introductory Number 338-A, sponsored by Council Members Brewer, Gonzalez, James, Palma, Recchia, Williams, Rodriguez, Garodnick, Van Bramer, Vallone, Crowley, Chin, Comrie, Koppell, Lappin, Jackson, Barron and Reyna. 

“Introductory Number 338-A encourages the development of rooftop greenhouses throughout the City by exempting them from limitations on a buildings’ height and floor area.

“The final bill before me today is Introductory Number 615-A, sponsored by Council Members Dickens, Comrie, Gonzalez, James, Lander, Brewer, Van Bramer, Lappin, Chin, Levin, Jackson, Gennaro, and Barron.  Introductory Number 615-A establishes reporting requirements regarding the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food in and for the City.

“In order to adequately monitor and address the challenges facing New York City’s food system, policymakers and the public need to have access to accurate information – including data about the food the City purchases and serves and the impact of various food-related programs.  Introductory Number 615-A establishes “metrics” at each phase of the food system and requires the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability to create an annual report containing information on each of these metrics.  This report will be available online and free of charge to the public beginning September 1, 2012.

“Much of the City’s successful food policy has been the result of collaboration between the Council and the Administration, and Introductory Number 615-A is the latest example.  Each metric that is in the report relates to one or more of Speaker Quinn’s twelve policy goals and fifty-nine recommendations from her Food Works report, which was released last fall.  Through rigorous analysis of City needs and resources as well as monitoring of available data, we have been able to ensure that our programs do not just sound promising, but also achieve their desired effect.  The new report will help us better understand the food system in New York City and allow for future data-driven policy recommendations in the future.

“I would like to thank Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director Marla Simpson, Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy, Food Policy Coordinator Kim Kessler, Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability Director David Bragdon, as well as their staff for their work on these bills along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs.  I would also like to thank the City Council for approving these pieces of legislation.


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


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