FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 25, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW CORNELL UNIVERSITY'S WINNING PROPOSAL FOR A SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CAMPUS AND THE NEW LANDMARK TAXI LAW WILL TRANSFORM THE CITY, CREATING JOBS AND GENERATING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 25, 2011
"Merry Christmas, and happy holidays! This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Earlier this morning, parents across our city were roused out of bed by children who had been awake for hours, waiting to unwrap their new toys. It's truly a time of joy in a season of hope and reflection. And even if you don't celebrate Christmas, this past week has been full of glad tidings for all New Yorkers.
"The first piece of good news puts us firmly on track to becoming the world's capital of technological innovation. On Monday, we selected a bold proposal from Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a cutting-edge science and engineering campus here in our city. As part of the agreement, we are giving them a prime but under-utilized piece of real estate on Roosevelt Island and $100 million in City funding for infrastructure there to realize their bold proposal. Their world-class program will begin admitting students as soon as next year.
"We remain in negotiations to realize other proposals from NYU, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon - because we've seen the power of universities to be magnets for talent and engines for economic innovation and growth. Cornell and the Technion's new campus will certainly achieve that. In fact, according to our conservative predictions, it will spawn 600 startups over the next three decades, creating 30,000 new jobs. And that doesn't even include the tens of thousands of new jobs required to build the campus and operate it. Bottom line: it's going to be a game-changer for our economic future.
"The second piece of good news will also transform our city - in an even more immediate way. It's historic legislation that will create more legal taxi service for seven million New Yorkers. How? By creating a new class of licenses that allow livery cars to pick up passengers on the street in Northern Manhattan and the other four boroughs. This will give 40,000 honest, hard-working livery drivers the chance to earn a legal salary in safer conditions. The agreement also authorizes the sale of 2,000 new yellow cab medallions - all of which will be accessible to wheelchairs. Even if you never hail a cab, the sale of these new medallions is good news because it will generate a billion dollars in tax revenue for the City - especially welcome during these times of tight budgets.
"Taxi service for all five boroughs is a goal that has eluded the city for three decades. When we announced in January that we'd seek legislation, we were told the odds were against us; that the lobbyists in Albany were too powerful; and that the improved taxi service law was dead in the water. But we refused to believe that was true. We refused to bow down to the special interests. When they hired every lobbyist in town - we kept fighting, because we had the people on our side. And working with the Governor, the Assembly and the Senate, we've now achieved a landmark victory for all New Yorkers.
"You might say it's proof that Christmas miracles are indeed possible.
"This is Mayor Bloomberg. Merry Christmas, and I hope everyone has safe and happy holidays."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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