Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Wednesday, January 14, 1998

Release #022-98-98

Contact: Colleen Roche/Jack Deacy (212) 788-2958


NYC Is 'Strong, Safe, Financially Sound' As It Observes 100th Anniversary Urges New Yorkers To Make Reform Permanent For 21st Century

Extend School Year By One Month, End Social Promotions, Establish Partnership Between Met Opera & Schools

Legislate End Of Parole, Open Records Of Violent Juveniles

Replace CUNY 'Open Admissions' With Entrance Exam

Continue Tax Reduction & Job Growth Strategies

Coliseum To Feature Performing Arts Center

Staten Island To Be Site Of Minor League Ballpark

Declaring that New York City is "as strong, as safe and as financially sound as it has been in thirty years," Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today delivered his fifth "State of the City" address and asked all New Yorkers to "look to the this pivotal time in our history ."

During his speech in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, the Mayor outlined a course "that would make certain that our reforms over the past four jyears take hold and continue to strengthen our City well into the next century.

"This is our 100th Anniversary as a consolidated City and we are in the last years of the 20th Century," the Mayor said. "All that we have accomplished and all that must be done in the future rests on a foundation of public safety and improved quality of life.

"But quality of life is an ongoing process. It's not about reaching a destination," the Mayor continued. "And the basic message of quality of life is that we can never settle for what we have achieved. Only by constantly reasserting our commitment to this process can we fulfill the oath we took together this New Year's Day to transmit this City to future generations greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us."

To that end, Mayor Giuliani outlined a number of initiatives, ideas and legislative actions to build on the Administration's record in public safety, education, health care, child welfare, welfare reform, the economy and the arts.


"We cannot maintain, much less continue, our success in reducing crime unless we take steps now to change dramatically the balance in our criminal justice system so that the rights of victims and the rights of society are accorded at least as much, if not more, respect than the rights of the criminals."

- Enact legislation to end parole in New York State.

- Enact legislation to make publicly available the records of juveniles convicted of violent crimes and drug crimes.

- Increase the size of the NYPD to a record strength of 40,000 officers.

- Implement the Citywide Anti-Drug Initiative and add five NYPD anti-drug initiatives to the four anti-drug initiatives currently operating throughout the City.

- Continue to advocate for strong national gun control legislation.

- Expand use of surveillance cameras in Housing Authority developments and certain drug-free zone parks.

- Implement Citywide anti-gang strategy.

- Expand D.A.R.E. anti-drug program to Housing Authority community centers.

- Continue zero tolerance policy and "Courtesy, Professionalism & Respect" program to reduce police corruption and improve community/police relations.

- Expand Emergency Medical Service stations to communities throughout the City.

- Decentralize probation programs to precincts throughout the City, based on Operation Night Light.

-Strengthen domestic violence strategies and advocate for stronger domestic violence legislation, including anti-stalking legislation and permanent orders of protection.

- Continue to improve FDNY fire response and prevention efforts.


"We're beginning to see a public education system built around the idea of performance - built on raising the level of student achievement - instead of one shrouded in unaccountability. In the past year reading scores and math scores went up, more seats were added than students, and the projects we proposed one year ago to upgrade reading, provide computers, reintroduce an arts curriculum have all moved forward."

- Expand school year by one month for all students.

- End "open admissions" program at the City University of New York and replace it with entrance examinations and higher standards.

- Eliminate social promotions and begin program this year to end the practice in all third grades throughout the City

- Establish a partnership between the public school system and the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to enhance the arts curriculum in the public schools.

- Establish a Task Force to reform special education and bilingual education programs.

- Implement cap on years allowed to graduate from high school, limiting it to six years immediately and to five years beginning next year.

- Eliminate tenure for principals. - Expand seating capacity and continue school rehabilitation program.

- Accelerate creation of year-round schools.

- Continue to implement Mayoral initiatives, including Project Read, Partners In Reading, Project Smart Schools, increased textbook funding, Second Opportunity Schools, restoration of the Arts curriculum and schools governance and school-based budgeting.

- Implement plan to make the NYPD responsible for the School Safety Program.

- Expand School Choice Scholarship Program. - Authorize creation of Charter Schools and increase small, innovative schools.

- Continue to improve such basics as reading and math scores and improve high school graduation and college admission rates.

- Maximize educational alternatives, including separate grammar schools for girls, military schools and use of school uniforms.


"In 1993 New York City was seen as the welfare capital of America. Over 1 million people were on welfare, with projections that this number would reach as high as 1.2 to 1.5 million people. Today our welfare reform program has reduced the welfare rolls by 340,000 people. We have removed more people from welfare than the entire welfare population of Wisconsin. And 200,000 people have moved through our workfare program, from dependency toward self-sufficiency. Sometime early this year, we will go below 800,000 people dependent on welfare for the first time in 30 years."

- Turn Welfare Centers into Job Centers.

- Impose universal work requirements for all adults receiving public assistance, with the exception of the most disabled.

- Create a system of immediate temporary-to-permanent work opportunities by utilizing private staffing companies and wage subsidies for private employment.

- Create incentives and competition to reward success in moving people to self- sufficiency.

- Support substance abuse programs that incorporate work as a critical part of the road to recovery.

- Expand welfare-to-work initiatives with private sector employers

- Direct a comprehensive review of social services contracts to impose appropriate performance criteria and accountability standards.


"In our public hospitals, general care hospital bed use is down 34%, emergency room visits not resulting in admissions are down 10%, and primary care visits are up 40%. The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) has opened five privately funded facilities with ten under construction and two more being designed. The results of more efficient primary and preventative care are beginning to be visible. Tuberculosis dropped by 31% between 1994 and 1996. Infant mortality is now at its lowest level in 100 years. And deaths from AIDS dropped 40% last year. All of this is a source of great pride, making New York once again America's health care leader."

-Expand medical coverage to uninsured individuals working in small businesses through establishment of the Citywide Purchasing Alliance.

- Merge the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services with the Department of Health.

- Initiate a joint Health and Hospitals Corporation and Administration for Children's Services project at Cumberland Hospital.

- Continue dramatic improvements in the City's public health.

- Continue the expansion of primary care centers throughout the City with the Primary Care Development Corporation.

- Seek further privatization of the public hospital system by pursuing privatization of Coney Island Hospital and initiating the process at Elmhurst Hospital.

- Rebuild Kings County and Queens General Hospitals.

- Implement Medicaid Managed Care waiver.

- Increase New York City's federal Medicaid reimbursement rate.


"Only when families demonstrate that they can provide safe and secure homes will children be permitted to return home. When children cannot be returned safely to their homes, they will be provided with alternative safe, loving, permanent homes."

- Establish a network of Administration for Children's Services "Instant Response Teams", which include caseworkers, police officers and child abuse experts from the five district attorneys' offices.

- Implement strict performance criteria for all non-profit agencies that contract with ACS to insure that providers give the City the highest level of performance.

- Complete transformation of the child welfare system from a culture of unaccountability to a culture of performance by utilizing merit-based promotions.

- Develop an integrated, neighborhood-based child welfare system where the safety and well-being of the child will be paramount.

- Change foster care financing methods to better meet the needs of children and families.

- Direct ACS to review the kinship foster care system.

- Require participation in the Work Experience Program for deadbeat parents who owe child support payments.

- Continue and expand the "Should I Adopt?" campaign to move children from foster care to permanent adoptive homes.

- Address the effects of illegitimacy on children.


- Continue to advocate for permanent elimination of State Sales Tax on Clothing and continue tax reduction strategies.


- Support Minor League Baseball Stadium for Staten Island.

- Enact retail zoning reform legislation.

- Support legislation to expand the use of private van companies throughout the City.

- Establish a Charter Revision Committee, headed by former Corporation Counsel Paul Crotty, to review and improve the City's sometimes onerous procurement and land use procedures, and to examine service delivery and efficiency within government agencies.

- Promote Freight Rail Tunnel and Hub Port Project.

- Expand Javits Convention Center.

- Rebuild Penn Station and Farley Post Office.

- Expand New York Stock Exchange.

- Support Yankee and Shea Stadium redevelopment.

- Support Brooklyn Sportsplex.

- Modernize and expand Hunts Point Market.

- Develop viable alternatives for Staten Island Homeport and Governors Island.

- Continue Times Square Development projects.

- Close the Fresh Kills Landfill and expand recycling and shipment of waste outside of NYC.


- Support a referendum to remove New York City from a lease with the Port Authority and establish a New York Airport Authority to enable the City to operate John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports.


- Remove Organized Crime interests from construction, air freight and garment industries in New York City.

- Continue Trade Waste Commission oversight of private carting industry.


- Develop New York Coliseum site with a major new performing arts center.

- Develop a museum at the Staten Island Ferry site.

- Support and implement the Broadway Initiative.

- Restore City Hall Park and create a world class NYC Visitors Center at the Tweed Courthouse in City Hall Park.

- Continue to support the Cultural Challenge.

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