The following are Mayor Bloomberg's remarks on making NYC's government the most innovative in the world from his 2012 State of the City address.
"And that brings us to the third and final major challenge I’d like to address: making our government the most innovative of any in the world.
“By creating an administration that empowers team members, takes risks and leads from the front, we’re already setting the standard in so many areas.
“When people around the world talk about the most innovative public policies, where the most cutting-edge policies and programs are taking shape, they talk about New York City. And in the year ahead, we’ll give them plenty more to talk about.
“To begin, we’ll continue using technology to keep our city safe. The NYPD’s counter-terrorism program will add more than 1,000 advanced cameras to sensitive areas deploy more License Plate Readers to bridges and tunnels and expand the use of radiation detectors that are wired to the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center, which can respond immediately to any questionable readings.
“Our first responders will begin sending real-time information over the city’s wireless network from an ambulance to an emergency room, saving precious seconds and likely saving lives.
“We’ll strongly support the Governor’s push to expand DNA collection, which will build on the 2006 law we helped pass. And we’ll launch a data analytics team that will use the latest technology to fight crime and poverty and to assist businesses and entrepreneurs.
“To get more people working on construction sites, we’ll streamline the inspection process, just as we’ve done for restaurants and retail shops, in partnership with Speaker Quinn. We’ve already opened an online hub for reviewing and approving digital construction plans. Now, we’re teaming up with the industry to form the Partnership to Build NYC, and together, we’ll strengthen safety and reduce waiting times for building inspections citywide.
“Our goal is ten days or less – and we’re not talking about cutting corners, we’re talking about cutting red tape. And we’ll also do that by streamlining City Planning’s review of land use applications. City government will get smarter so more New Yorkers can get to work.
“We’ll also make our city smarter and safer by deploying Traffic Enforcement Agents to safety hot spots at key intersections, doubling the number of 20 mile-per-hour zones for schools, and continuing adding more miles of protected bike lanes.
“Now, I realize the debate over bike lanes has sometimes been hot and heavy. But the reality is more and more New Yorkers are biking, and the more bike lanes we put in, the fewer deaths and serious injuries we have on our streets.
“This year, we’ll take steps to enforce the law requiring every delivery rider to have proper safety equipment and clothing that identifies the name of the business. At the same time, we’ll launch the largest bike share program of any city in the country. Those bikes will create another option for getting around town faster and easier, and so will new Select Bus Service in Brooklyn, which we’ll launch in partnership with MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.
“And, of course, another options will be the new Five Borough Taxi Cab that New Yorkers have been waiting decades for.
“Finally, if we’re going to be the most innovative city in the world, we also have to be the greenest, because that’s how you attract the most forward-looking individuals and companies. So today, we’re announcing the next phase in three key areas of our PlaNYC environmental and infrastructure agenda: recycling, clean energy and clean air.
“To begin, we’ll double the amount of residential waste we divert from landfills by 2017. By taking steps like increasing recycling in schools and streets and expanding our plastics recycling program, we’ll reduce our waste disposal costs by $50 million annually and help protect the environment.
“We’ll also become one of the first cities in the country to turn wastewater into renewable energy and we’ll explore the possibility of cleanly converting trash into renewable energy. To attack air pollution, we’ll overhaul the city’s air quality codes, green our building and zoning codes and accelerate our work with property owners to phase-out dirty heating oils. All of this work will help move us closer to our goal of having the cleanest air of any large city in America.
“Now, as ambitious as our agenda is for the year ahead, we’ll achieve it by continuing to do more with less. When I first took office, city government had 312,000 employees. Today we have 292,000 – a six percent cut. Yet in nearly every category, we are getting far better results than we did ten years ago.
“This year we will continue to keep head count down – but we will not sacrifice public safety or public integrity. We don’t tolerate misconduct or corruption anywhere, and we have the very highest standards for those we entrust to enforce the law. Our police force is the best in the world. And Commissioner Kelly has done an outstanding job making sure that New York’s Finest are also the most upstanding.
“To ensure that we maintain and strengthen that track record, we will increase the attorney staffing for the Commission to Combat Police Corruption, led by its chair Michael Armstrong, former counsel to the Knapp Commission.
“We’ll find ways to finance all of the initiatives I’ve outlined today, some of which come with very little cost, by continuing to make government more efficient and continuing to consolidate city operations.
“For instance, this year we’ll put three city-owned office buildings in Lower Manhattan up for sale. We expect will bring more than $100 million next year for our capital budget, $100 million in private sector tax revenue and cost savings over the next 20 years by converting public buildings to private buildings and it will bring new jobs and housing for the downtown community.
“We’ll also seek budget savings by doing everything we can to support Governor Cuomo in his push for mandate relief, including what has long been one of our top priorities: pension reform.
“New York City’s workforce is the finest in the world, and current city workers have earned their pensions. But we cannot afford to continue offering the same benefits to future workers. Right now, more than 12 percent of our budget is dedicated to pensions. That’s more than $8 billion that we’re not using to reduce our tax burden or to spend on salaries for teachers, police officers and firefighter, or on job creation or social services. Governor Cuomo is right to make pension reform a top priority and he’ll have our full support.
“It won’t be easy. None of this will be easy. But everything that I’ve talked about today we can complete or make meaningful progress on this year. We’ll work collaboratively with our partners in City government and in Albany to achieve great things – and pioneer new innovations. And that’s the way it should be.
“Because this is a city where the line between the possible and impossible is routinely erased, and where the arc of human fate is bent by ambition, ingenuity, and hard work. That has always been true here, but it has never been truer than it is today.
“The sense of possibility that leads us to pursue big dreams and high ideals, that is the essential spirit of our city and we see it every day.
“We see it in the immigrants who continue to come here and stay here to build a better life. We see it in the artists and entrepreneurs who spend every waking hour pursuing their passions. We see it in the parents who work like mad to give their children a better life.
“This spirit of promise and possibility is all around us – today, and every day. It’s in people like Christopher Gallant and Damian Brown, who founded the Bronx Brewery and now employs many people.
“It’s in educators like Joe Negron and David Levin of KIPP Academy, one of the country’s most successful charter schools, just 10 blocks south of here.
“It’s in housing leaders like Jonathan Rose and Adam Weinstein who helped build one the most environmentally advanced affordable housing developments in the nation, called Via Verde, on East 156th Street.
“It’s in all the people all across the five boroughs who do so much to make this the greatest city in the world. You want to know the State of the City? This is the state of our city. Never more full of promise and possibility. Because, in the words of Gouverneur Morris, there is nothing we the people can’t do. There is no mountain we cannot climb, no summit we cannot reach, if we the people decide to do it.
“Today, let us commit to one another that we will not stand still when our children need us to step forward. We will not deny the dreams of students – no matter where they live, or where they go to school or in what country they were born.
“We will not deny the desire that so many have to work in jobs that will allow them to build a better life for themselves and their families.
“And we will not deny the demands that every New Yorker has for safe streets free from the plague of gun violence and strong neighborhoods full of energy and life.
“Together, we the people will build our future, and we will not rest – not for one second – until we have fulfilled the promise and possibility of our great city for every single New Yorker. Thank you.”