On Thursday, January 12, Mayor Bloomberg delivered the 2012 State of the City Address at the Morris High School Campus in the Bronx. In the address, the Mayor spoke about NYC: Capital of Innovation, leading the way on innovation in education, business and government.
View video of Mayor Bloomberg's entire 2012 State of the City address here.
Innovative Education Reform: the Mayor announced five steps to push progress in New York City schools to the next level.
- Loan Forgiveness: To attract great new teachers, the City will pay off up to $25,000 in student loans for those who graduated in the top 25% of their college class and come teach in our schools.
- Merit Pay: To retain the best teachers, the Mayor announced a proposal to increase the salaries of those who are rated highly-effective for two consecutive years by $20,000.
- Great Teachers in Every Classroom: The City will assess and replace teachers in some of our most struggling schools, with the best teachers staying and the least effective going.
- Under a school Turnaround program and a provision in the existing UFT contract, the City can form school-based committees to evaluate teachers on merit and replace up to 50% of the faculty. The City will move forward with this approach in some of our most struggling schools.
- Opening Successful Schools: The City will continue to phase out failing schools and open100 new schools over the next two years, including 50 new charter schools, by asking successful charter school operators already in the city to expedite expansion plans and other high-performing charter operators to come to New York.
- College and Career Readiness: By this spring, every public school student will have completed new study lessons in both Math and Literacy.
- Expanding School Choice: The City will continue creating new partnerships with private and nonprofit partners, such as a new Software Engineering Academy in Union Square.
- Financial Aid: The City will help students claim their federal financial aid for college, and promote the NYS Dream Act so children who were brought here illegally can apply for State-sponsored college aid.
New York’s Economy as a Global Capital of Innovation
Expanding the City’s Economic Capacity
- Expanding Industries:
- Film: Building on record film & TV production, the City will open a new incubator for film and digital media companies, allowing the City to continue to compete with Hollywood.
- Art: The City will launch a new non-profit called “Space Works” that will transform underutilized spaces into affordable rehearsal and studio space for artists citywide.
Creating Jobs for New Yorkers Today
- Jobs for All Five Boroughs: New retail will bring jobs to the Bronx Hub; the City will help break ground on a major apartment complex at the Staten Island Homeport; JetBlue opens its new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens; the City will work with Related to continue developing Manhattan’s Far West Side; and more industrial jobs will be coming to the Brooklyn waterfront.
- Hunts Point and Kingsbridge: The Mayor announced an increase in the City’s commitment to modernize the Hunts Point produce market as part of an effort to protect the 3,600 good-paying jobs there, and a new effort to bring jobs to the vacant Kingsbridge Armory.
- Tourism: The Mayor will work with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to make it easier for foreign tourists to get visas so that more people can come to New York City and spend money here.
Connecting New Yorkers to Jobs
- Expanding Workforce One: The City will open four new Workforce One Career Centers and a new incubator that will offer foreign-born entrepreneurs the tools and legal support they need to develop their businesses here.
- Supporting Veterans: Workforce One Career Centers, in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, will launch new services to connect veterans to jobs. They will also work with property manager Urban America to attract more private landlords to their rental discount programs for returning veterans.
- Young Men’s Initiative: As part of the Young Men’s Initiative, the City will develop opportunities for New Yorkers in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn to “earn while they learn” the skills required by the knowledge economy.
- Since the national recession hit five years ago, the cost of living in New York City has gone up, but the minimum wage has remained flat. In his speech, the Mayor announced a commitment to join Speaker Sheldon Silver in pushing for a responsible raise in the minimum wage.
Innovative Solutions to Government
- Parks: The City will partner with AT&T to bring Wi-Fi service to a dozen more City parks.
- Public Safety: 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 lives.
- Data Analytics: The City will launch a data analytics team that will use the latest technology to fight crime and poverty, and also to assist businesses.
- New Construction: The City will partner with the industry to accelerate the inspection process, strengthening safety and reducing waiting times for construction projects citywide.
- Transit Safety: The City will deploy Traffic Enforcement Agents to “safety hot spots,” double the number of 20 mile-per-hour zones for schools, and continue adding protected bike lanes.
- Recycling: The City will double the amount of residential waste diverted from landfills through recycling and other means. The plan will redirect more than 1.1 billion pounds of waste from landfills every year and reduce our waste disposal costs by $50 million annually.
- Clean Energy: The City will become one of the first cities in the country to turn wastewater into renewable energy. The City will also explore the possibility of cleanly converting trash into renewable energy.
- Clean Air: The City will overhaul air quality codes, green building and zoning codes, and accelerate work with property owners to phase-out dirty heating oils, helping move New York closer to the goal of having the cleanest air of any large city in America.