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One New York: Working for Our Neighborhoods - Mayor de Blasio Reports on the State of #OurCity

February 4, 2016

One New York: Working For Our Neighborhoods address to focus on inequality, quality of life and NYC as the global leader in the 21st century economy

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio takes to primetime Thursday night to share with New Yorkers the 2016 State of Our City address. Lehman College in the Bronx plays host to the annual address to report on the City’s progress over the past two years, identify challenges to overcome, and share opportunities and solutions the Mayor will implement to strengthen our neighborhoods across the city’s five boroughs.

Mayor de Blasio is harnessing the stories of New Yorkers to describe dramatic public safety, education, economic and infrastructure gains across the city. In outlining his 2016 agenda, the Mayor is focusing on a series of groundbreaking initiatives targeting inequality, our quality of life, and New York City’s positioning as a global leader in the 21st century economy.

Excerpt of State of Our City text, as prepared for delivery…

“Our mission is to put the powers of City Hall to work to help ALL of our neighborhoods thrive and prosper. Our challenge is to make our great city greater still. Our vision is One New York, Working for Our Neighborhoods. All of our neighborhoods.

“This vision means we have to use the tools of government to fight against inequality – and to fight for a strong future for all our families. It means we need to manage government effectively for a safe, clean, economically strong city with an improving quality of life. And it means we must innovate for the future in all our neighborhoods, always pushing the envelope for new ways to keep New York the greatest global city of the 21st century.”

The speech is being broadcast live at

For more information on the initiatives outlined in the State of Our City, please visit: These initiatives include:

The Brooklyn Queens Connector

Explosive housing and job growth occurring along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront are placing ever increasing demands on the area’s roads and public transit. The Mayor believes that it is crucial to link this new development with the larger fabric of the city. Mayor de Blasio’s proposal for the Brooklyn Queens Connector urban streetcar would tie together waterfront neighborhoods from Sunset Park in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens. The new transit line would connect isolated neighborhoods to new job centers and open up opportunity for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The BQX will link to 13 NYCHA developments with more than 40,000 tenants – roughly 10 percent of the city’s public housing residents. The fare on the streetcar will be the same as a single-ride Metrocard.

Retirement Security for All New Yorkers

Mayor de Blasio has announced that New York is working to become the first city in the country to create a retirement savings program for private-sector employees. Contributions would be exclusively from employees, who would have the ability to change their rate or opt out of the program as they wish. Employees would also be able to transfer the savings account from job to job. The City would undertake a robust outreach and education effort on the program. The move is the latest announcement by the Mayor targeting the economic security of working families. From paid sick and parental leave, to living and minimum wages, this has been a focus of the de Blasio administration.

Culture, Innovation and Commerce on Governors Island

Governors Island will be the site of a sweeping economic development project poised to turn the area into a center of culture, commerce and innovation. Building on the success of Cornell-Tech, and advancing the City’s efforts to redevelop our waterfront, the City will work with the Trust for Governors Island to issue an RFP for a comprehensive plan to develop up to 33 acres on two development zones situated on the southern end of the Island, and reactivate the 900,000 square feet of existing space in the Historic District on the northern end of the Island.


The City will expand the Graffiti-Free NYC program and also add power washing of sidewalks in heavily trafficked commercial corridors in all five boroughs, including all Industrial Business Zones and other targeted corridors, such as Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, Church Avenue in Brooklyn, the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub in Queens, Jerome-Gun Hill in the Bronx, Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and 125th Street in Manhattan. Graffiti-Free NYC will remove graffiti from private and public structures, power wash sidewalks, and remove blight from street furniture. The Department of Sanitation will also expand Sunday and holiday litter basket collection by 40 percent, with a focus on heavily trafficked neighborhoods across the five boroughs. And it will remove litter, dirt, leaves and other debris from 100 additional miles of highway ramp and shoulder areas per week.

Downtown Far Rockaway Revitalization

Mayor de Blasio is announcing a $91 million investment in the revitalization of Downtown Far Rockaway, a historical commercial corridor that provides significant opportunity to spur new economic activity. The City will work with nonprofit and private-sector partners to bring new mixed-income housing, retail, and community facilities – along with employment opportunities – to the downtown.  The City is poised to take a number of immediate steps to ensure this process gets off the ground, including releasing an RFP to develop a long-underutilized Department of Transportation-owned municipal lot, and the funding of improvements at area storefronts and the Sorrentino Recreation Center. The public approval and input process surrounding this economic development initiative will begin later this year.

Solar Power in NYC

Mayor de Blasio has made a major commitment to reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, including by retrofitting every public building by 2025. Solar energy capacity on City government buildings has increased seven-fold since the Mayor took office. The Mayor is announcing that the City will increase that capacity five-fold over the next three years. The Mayor’s progress puts the City on track to meet its goal of generating 100 megawatts of renewable energy on public buildings by 2025. The Mayor is ultimately looking to power the entirety of City government with renewable energy, and he has committed to reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Building solar energy capacity provides savings to taxpayers by reducing the amount of energy that needs to be purchased from the grid. The City has already identified $1.2 million in annual taxpayer savings from solar panels already installed at public facilities.

Mobile Pay for Parking Meters

By the end of this year New Yorkers will be able to use their cell phones to pay for parking at any of the City’s 85,000 metered spaces. The technology will enable drivers to save time by skipping the cash payment and receipt process at Muni-Meters. The pay-by-phone option will also allow a user to remotely add time to a car’s parking space.

New NYPD Gun Suppression Division

The Mayor has partnered with the NYPD and the city’s district attorneys to develop a comprehensive plan to strengthen and speed investigations and prosecutions of gun crimes. The centerpiece of the plan is a new 200-officer gun suppression division that will allow the NYPD to more effectively target those who carry illegal guns and traffic firearms into the city.

New Citywide Countdown Clocks, Traffic-Signal Priority, and Dedicated Lanes for Buses 

The Department of Transportation will be installing countdown clocks at 350 bus stops across the city. The City will also be working with the MTA to implement traffic-signal priority for buses on eight routes in Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn, and it will be creating new bus-only lanes at congested locations throughout the system.

Free High-Speed Broadband for NYCHA Residents 

In July 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced a first-of-its kind investment in bringing free, high-speed broadband service to more than 16,000 New Yorkers living in five public housing developments in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. With those projects underway, the Mayor is now looking to expand NYCHA broadband to include two new public housing complexes in Manhattan and Staten Island.

Reducing Health Disparities by Targeting Primary Care ‘Deserts’ Across the City

The Mayor is dramatically expanding health care access in areas of the city with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease and mortality. Tremont, Brownsville and East Harlem will get new Health Action Centers this year, offering community-based primary care, and non-clinical health and social programs in formerly underutilized City-owned buildings. The Mayor’s Caring Neighborhoods Initiative, aimed at providing access to care for 100,000 underserved patients annually, will launch new and expanded primary care services at 15 sites this year.

Citywide WiFi with LinkNYC

LinkNYC will be the world’s largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, with up to 10,000 kiosks citywide. LinkNYC will repurpose existing infrastructure by transforming out-of-use payphones into state-of-the-art Links that can providing internet connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. The Links will also provide users with free domestic phone calls, USB charging ports, and a built-in tablet to browse the web or access government services. With a public launch expected by the end of the month, the City is planning to make more than 500 Links operational across all five boroughs by summer.

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