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February 14, 2013


Barclays Center

Today’s State of the City address is being delivered at Barclays Center, the new state-of-the-art arena in downtown Brooklyn and the anchor of the Atlantic Yards development. This 675,000-square-foot sports and entertainment arena opened on September 28, 2012, and is home to the Brooklyn Nets, the future home of the New York Islanders and will host more than 200 planned cultural and sporting events annually. The arena seats 18,000 for basketball and up to 19,000 for concerts. Barclays Center is located atop one of the largest transit hubs in New York, with immediate access to nine subway lines, and with nearby access to two other subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

The creation of Barclays Center resulted in 2,000 new permanent jobs, with 1,100 of those jobs filled through the City’s Workforce One Career Centers. About 1,500 of those jobs went to Brooklyn residents, including about 650 that went to New York City Public Housing Authority Residents.

Atlantic Yards is the redevelopment of 22 acres in downtown Brooklyn by Forest City Ratner Companies that – in addition to Barclays Center – will include approximately six million square feet of residential space (6,430 units of affordable and market-rate housing), 247,000 square feet of retail use, approximately 336,000 square feet of office space, and eight acres of publicly accessible open space. The project is the largest development project in Brooklyn’s history and also includes major transportation improvements, including a new storage and maintenance facility for the Long Island Railroad and a new subway entrance to the Atlantic Terminal Transit Hub.

State of the City Locations

Like the President’s State of the Union Address, the Mayor’s State of the City is an annual address to the legislature. Past Mayors delivered the State of the City address in the City Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall through the year 2002. In 2003, Mayor Bloomberg moved the speech out of City Hall and spoke to the Council Members – and the city as a whole – at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Mayor Bloomberg then spoke at Silvercup Studios East in Long Island City in 2004; Hostos Community College in the Bronx in 2005; Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island in 2006; New York City College of Technology in downtown Brooklyn in 2007; the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Indoor Pool and Ice Rink Complex in 2008; Brooklyn College’s Whitman Auditorium in 2009; Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in Astoria in 2010; the St. George Theatre on Staten Island in 2011 and Morris High School in the Bronx in 2012.

Banners in the Rafters

Many professional teams have a tradition of hanging banners from the rafters of their arena/stadium to mark significant team accomplishments and honor individual players who have achieved the most for their franchise. During the Mayor’s 2013 State of the City Address, the following banners will hang in Barclays Center to mark the current state of our city (as the banners will appear):


Record Low in Homicides in 2012
52 MillionRecord Visitors in 2012


Record Low Fire Fatalities in 2012


Record High Life Expectancy


New School Seats
76%Record Number of NYers Live Within a 10 Minute Walk of a Park

3.2 Million

Record Number of Private Sector Jobs

Vendors and Food

Barclays Center vendors who will be serving the crowd are all Brooklyn residents and many are residents of NYCHA facilities (part of the 650 NYCHA residents who were hired by the Barclays Center as a part of their commitment to the local community). The vendors will be serving arena popcorn.

Musical Selection

As guests take their seats, they’ll hear music played by Whitney Day, a DJ from Brooklyn. She was the 2012 featured DJ in NEXT Magazine, the first DJ from the United States to perform at the largest European music festival for women, the official DJ for the New York Giants Ticker-Tape Super Bowl Parade and was a headliner for NYC’s 2012 Pride Celebration.

The Mayor will enter to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (feat. Alicia Keys).

Opening Performances

The first performance will be by the Brooklynettes, a 19-woman dance team, who will perform to a remix of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”  Brooklynette India Bolds, a Bushwick resident, will then introduce the Brooklyn Nets Kids, a dance team of eight children ages seven to 13, who will perform to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.” Serena Quadrato, a member of the Brooklyn Nets Kids who is seven-years-old and from Staten Island, will introduce Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Koch Video

A brief video honoring the legacy of Mayor Edward I. Koch will be played prior to the introduction of Mayor Bloomberg. The video is one-minute fifteen-seconds in length and is a montage of clips of Mayor Koch, set to Simon and Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”

People On Stage

The Mayor will be joined on stage by 16 City employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the last year, most them performing their outstanding act(s) of service during the City’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

  • Ravi Basant, Dept. of Environmental Protection – Facility Manager for Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The plant was submerged by the storm surge and lost the ability to treat wastewater. Ravi worked approximately 60 hours over the next three days to get it back up and running and help protect public health and Jamaica Bay.

  • Yvonne Ballard, Dept. of Homeless Services – The day Sandy struck, Yvonne in her capacity as a Program Administrator for single adults oversaw the complete evacuation of the 30th Street intake center in Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Bedford Atlantic shelter, which expanded to include evacuees. Following the storm, she oversaw operations at both the Tottenville and Wagner High School evacuation centers, working between 12 and 15 hour shifts.

  • Michael Alacha and Timothy Lynch, Dept. of Buildings – Engineers who climbed more than 50 flights of stairs to inspect the damaged tower crane at 157 West 57th Street in Manhattan, where wind speeds reached more than 80 miles per hour at the height of the storm. These two engineering experts helped lead efforts to secure the crane's crippled boom, which dangled 750 feet above street level, as well as the unprecedented task of inspecting thousands of damaged buildings in the days and weeks following the storm. While Mr. Alacha and Mr. Lynch assessed the conditions of buildings throughout the city, their own homes were damaged. Mr. Alacha’s home in the Rockaways flooded, forcing his family to flee and Mr. Lynch’s Chelsea apartment lost power for several days.

  • Patsy Yang, Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene – Oversaw the Medical Canvas teams that went door-to-door to assess the medical needs and coordinate follow-up care for residents in high-rise buildings without power. The operation conducted more than 140,000 visits, connected with more than 40,000 occupied households and provided on-site medical care to New Yorkers in need.

  • Lt. Robert La Rocco, FDNY – Lead “Swift Water Team 6” which rescued more than 35 people in the Rockaways during the storm, and also responded to the fire at Beach 114th Street, which destroyed 17 buildings. Swift Water Team 6 was a specially deployed unit from FDNY Special Operations Command during the storm. 

  • Dr. Leora Balsam, Health and Hospitals Corporation – After Bellevue Hospital successfully evacuated more than 700 patients, only a man in his late thirties with a serious heart condition remained. Before the storm, cardiologists inserted a ventricular-assist device into his chest to correct a life-threatening heart blockage. The doctors would have to remove the device and close up the patient’s chest before he could safely leave the hospital.   Crippled by flooding and loss of electricity, Bellevue was enclosed in darkness but there was no time to wait. The device that was keeping the man alive was running on battery power. Relying on a functioning backup generator, Dr. Abelardo DeAnda, Dr. Leora Balsam, and their operating room staff got to work. They set up a pristine operating theater, enabling the surgeons to remove the device from the patient’s chest. The team kept watch on the patient, who after receiving exceptional post-operative care, was loaded on the lone functioning elevator and transferred to an ICU bed at another facility.

  • Linda Cirrincione, Human Resources Administration – The first member of her agency to assist on Coney Island in the challenging days immediately following Hurricane Sandy where, working with FEMA, she organized and created a team to assist residents. During the course of managing the Restoration centers, she worked feverishly to address client issues and ensured clients received the services they needed.

  • Lindsey Melki, NYC Service Volunteer An Iraq War veteran who volunteers with NYC Service, Lindsey spent time volunteering in Hurricane Sandy ravaged areas as well as supporting fellow returning service members volunteering with local veterans organizations in our City.

  • Lt. Sylvia Mendoza, NYPD – Lt. Mendoza helped delivered a baby at the 161st Street Yankee Stadium subway stop when the mother went into labor unexpectedly.

  • Lynn Seirup, Office of Emergency Management – Lynn worked to process raw, incoming data from the National Hurricane Center prior to the storm, which she used to create maps that indicated where storm surge was projected to occur. She advised the Mayor and senior officials throughout the preparation for the storm and is currently working with new data to further refine evacuation zones.

  • Oscar Esposito, New York City Housing Authority –A Construction Project Manager/Field Inspector, Oscar was part of the team that was immediately deployed to ensure all utilities were restored to residents in impacted Zone A developments. During the storm he worked side by side with contractors in Far Rockaway, including those installing the complex, high pressure steam mobile boilers at Ocean Bay Houses. Oscar’s dedication and technical expertise were invaluable in the timely restoration of heat to thousands of public housing residents.  Oscar worked in Far Rockaway for days at a time, with very little rest or time away from the service restoration work.

  • Michael Lewery, Dept. of Sanitation – Michael was a part of the army of Sanitation Workers who worked 12-hour shifts to clear debris from storm ravaged areas. He was electrocuted by a refrigerator in standing water a few days after the storm hit while working on clean-up efforts on Staten Island. He was hospitalized for a week and is still recovering from his injuries. 

  • Gordon Tung, Dept. of Education – The Chief Project Officer for the School Construction Authority in Queens, Gordon and his team worked on all the damaged school buildings in Far Rockaway. They worked 12 to 15 hours a day, seven days a week starting from the day after the Hurricane struck and continuing for several weeks. They managed and coordinated all work, opening most of the schools within one week of the storm and the most severely damaged by January 11th.

  • Phil Sparacio, Dept. of Parks and Recreation – Deputy Chief of Operations in Queens, who led efforts to sandbag all Parks Department buildings and build berms to protect boardwalks in advance of the storm. Since then, he has served as a point person in the Rockaways to help coordinate rebuilding, restoration and aid efforts.

  • Carl DelGeorge, Dept. of Transportation –The Queens Borough Supervisor for Road Repair and Maintenance division, Carl’s Howard Beach home was flooded during the storm, causing severe damage to his home and totaling his cars. Despite the personal devastation, Carl worked tirelessly for the people of Queens and assisted in the cleanup, ensuring the Department’s forces were fully deployed in the Rockaways as well as repairing roads throughout the borough.

Previous State of the City’s

The Mayor’s State of the City address, as prepared for delivery, typically has ranged between 6,000 and 7,000 words in length, with the most succinct coming in 2002 (4,629 words) and the longest in 2009 (7,668). The median word count for a State of the City address over the last 11 years is 6,400 words. Last year’s address was 7,598 words. This year’s address is approximately 7,000 words, as prepared for delivery.

February 14th

February 14th is Mayor Bloomberg’s and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s birthday.


Mayor’s Press Office   (212) 788-2958


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