The following is Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as delivered on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 8, 2012.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“I hope all those observing Passover, Easter or both are enjoying a weekend of spiritual renewal and family celebration. Each of these holidays is part of a religious tradition that reminds us of our responsibilities to support one another and care for our communities.
“In City government, we take those responsibilities very seriously. And we are always looking for new ways to support our most vulnerable residents, including our 1.3 million seniors. And with the over-60 population of our city set to grow nearly 50% by the year 2030, the challenge of helping seniors live healthy and fulfilling lives is becoming more important than ever. That’s why last October our Administration selected eight service providers to develop New York’s first ‘innovative senior centers.’ We charged them with not simply expanding their programs, but with re-imagining their centers for the 21st century senior, too. And we invested $3.5 million to get them started.
“Today, all eight centers are open, each with an innovative array of services. Last week, for example, I visited the Selfhelp Ben Rosenthal – Prince Street Center in Flushing, and was impressed by the ‘virtual’ fitness and museum classes it offers on-line to homebound seniors. In Manhattan, we’ve launched the first senior center in the nation specifically designed for the visually impaired. Bronxworks in Morris Heights offers a program that helps seniors manage chronic pain, while the Jewish Community Center on Staten Island has state-of-the-art fitness equipment and an Olympic size pool. Other innovative centers have other unique features, and we’ll open two more centers in Brooklyn this July.
“But we’re not just making an investment and walking away. We’re taking the same approach we apply to other challenges, whether it’s reducing crime or fighting poverty: plan for the long-term, focus on innovation, demand accountability, measure the results, and consistently improve. So we’re tracking each innovative senior center, so that we can measure if the innovations they’ve implemented actually make the seniors they serve healthier, and improve their overall quality of life.
“We’re also working to ensure that all New Yorkers have the support they need this tax season. As we do every year, our Administration is helping New Yorkers who have qualifying incomes file their taxes for free or at low cost; so far this year, more than 40,000 have already. Call 311 or go to nyc.gov to find out more. And we’re again encouraging those who qualify to claim their Federal, State, and City Earned Income Tax Credits. You could receive up to $7,600. And working families with children three years old and younger could be eligible for up to $1,733 in the New York City Child Care Tax Credit. It’s your money, and we want to help you get it and save more of it. But don’t wait: the deadline to file, Tuesday, April 17th, is right around the corner.
“In the meantime, I wish you and your family a Happy Easter and a peaceful Pesach. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”