NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his final State of the City speech on Thursday, outlining his planned policies and initiatives for 2013.
Bloomberg, mayor since 2001, will leave office at the end of this year following a three-term tenure.
But he plans to pack his last 320 days with initiatives such as: working with the City Council to ban styrofoam, tweaking the laws for hotel operations to attract more youth travelers, and a lighter hand for those found with small amounts of marijuana.
Here’s a recap of Bloomberg’s speech:
Hailed large projects being worked on, including:
- Developing sites around Seward Park on the Lower East Side
- Redeveloping the South Street Seaport area, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy
- Building a new community in Brooklyn called Greenpoint Landing
- Building the third and final section of the High Line
”To help improve the resiliency of our parks and beaches, we’ll launch a Conservation Corps, financed privately through the Mayor’s Fund, to train the next generation of Park stewards and leaders,” Bloomberg said.
Beaches, despite some sustaining damage from Hurricane Sandy, will open on time on Memorial Day Weekend, “to show that Sandy can’t stop us from enjoying our coastline,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg plans to use an executive order to waive all city fees for Sandy-related repair work.
”Today, I’m announcing that our Center for Economic Opportunity will spend $1 million to support nonprofit groups that will put 1,000 more unemployed New Yorkers immediately to work on hurricane relief and recovery projects,” he said.
Will launch competition to install Wi-Fi in more of the city’s Business Improvement Districts. “Our work to create a tech-friendly city is a big reason we’ve been leading the nation in job growth and the majority of jobs we’ve been creating are middle-class jobs that pay good salaries,” said Bloomberg.
Will appoint first ever Chief Analytics Officer, Michael Flowers, to head new platform to share data across agencies and publicly.
Working with City Council to pass legislation to legalize for-profit youth hostels, based on the model popular in Europe. “Our goal is to attract 175,000 more young tourists to our city each year which will create more than 1,000 new jobs for New Yorkers,” said Bloomberg.
Easing of Marijuana Violations
In lieu of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal not passing through the state legislature, Bloomberg will direct NYPD officers to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a violation, not a misdemeanor.
“Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly from the precinct with a desk appearance ticket to return to court,” Bloomberg said. “It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most.”
Bloomberg will work with the City Council to amend the Building Code, so up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces in private developments are wired for electric vehicles. Equals creation of up to 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years.
Will put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets.
Launch pilot program to compost organic waste in Staten Island, to be taken citywide if it works
Will work will City Council to ban styrofoam food packaging from stores and restaurants.
Will make East River ferry service permanent.