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Mayor of New York City

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayor of the City of New York
Flag of the Mayor of New York City.svg
Incumbent
Bill de Blasio

since January 1, 2014
Style His/Her Honor
Residence Gracie Mansion
Term length Four years; may serve two consecutive terms
Inaugural holder Thomas Willett
Formation 17th century
Salary $225,000
Website www.nyc.gov/mayor

The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city, state and federal laws within New York City.

The budget overseen by the mayor's office is the largest municipal budget in the United States at $70 billion a year.[1] The city employs 325,000 people, spends about $21 billion to educate more than 1.1 million students (the largest public school system in the United States), levies $27 billion in taxes, and receives $14 billion from the state and federal governments.

The mayor's office is located in New York City Hall; it has jurisdiction over all five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. The mayor appoints a large number of officials, including commissioners who head city departments, and his deputy mayors. The mayor's regulations are compiled in title 43 of the New York City Rules. According to current law, the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms in office. It was changed from two to three terms on October 23, 2008, when the New York City Council voted 29–22 in favor of passing the term limit extension into law.[2] However, in 2010, a referendum reverting the limit to two terms passed overwhelmingly.[3]

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  • Dartmouth Presidential Lectures: Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City

Transcription

>> President Kim: All right. Good afternoon. Good afternoon, everybody. Can we turn these mike's off? I'm honored to introduce New York City mayor, Mike Bloomberg, as the inaugural speaker in the Dartmouth Presidential Lecture series. It is my hope that this series will promote discussion of current global issues and supplement your classroom experiences. Back to these? [ laughter ] Got to be ready. >> President Kim: I'll turn this off. OK. >> President Kim: It is my hope that this series will promote discussion of current global issues and supplement your classroom experiences with real-life lessons on innovation, collaboration and leadership. John Sloan Dickey, the 12th president of Dartmouth, consistently spoke of the need to embrace the world's troubles as your own. Through this proposal for an innovative great issues course, President Dickey enabled students to reflect on their liberal arts education, through real-world problems. The Presidential Lecture series is the first step toward adapting the great issues concept to a new generation. Yours. The speakers in this series will not only inform you about their own work in confronting the pressing global issues of the day, but in doing so will provide important examples of habits of the mind that have been key to their own success. I invited Mayor Bloomberg to speak at Dartmouth, because as a businessman, philanthropist and civil servant, he is living proof that developing effective habits of the mind, persistence, independent thinking and creativity, among others, beget success and allows an individual to make the world or New York City, in his case, a better place. As mayor of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is at the center of many of the most important issues of the day including school reform, poverty, global warming and gun control. Mayor Bloomberg is also a public health hero, a hero of mine, enacting one of the country's most extensive smoking bans, working to combat tobacco use internationally and forcing restaurants to put caloric information on their items. The founder of Bloomberg LP, the financial information company, Mayor Bloomberg has supported the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions and causes. Although Mayor Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins, I think his long time companion, Diana Taylor, who's with us today, member of the Dartmouth class of 1977 and a trustee of the college, has taught him what it means to bleed green. After his remarks, Mayor Bloomberg will answer questions submitted by audience members. If you have a question, please write it on one of the index cards given to you and pass it to an usher in one of the outside aisles. They're along here and also in Spalding. Video of the lecture will be available online after the event. Also, I encourage you to take part in a discussion about the lecture on Dartmouth's Facebook page, moderated by Professor Bruce Sacerdote. Mayor Bloomberg is one of our country's leading visionaries. He brings innovation and imagination to everything he pursues. Please help me welcome, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as the inaugural speaker in the Dartmouth Presidential Lecture Series. [ applause ] >> Mayor Bloomberg: Thank you. [ applause ] Thank you. Thanks for that kind reception. I'd like to think you came here to hear some stirring oratory and great wisdom. But I know that some of you are probably here for the Boloco burritos vouchers. [ laughter ] You know who you are. And it's great to, it is great to be the first in a series. I didn't know I was the first in the series, until I listened to Dr. Kim. That means until the next one shows up, I'm the best you've had. [ laughter ] President Kim, I was a little bit, I was appreciative of the introduction, but a little bit disappointed. A couple of weeks ago, Queen Elizabeth the II visited lower Manhattan and it was 103 degrees and she still wore her trademark white gloves. So I want to know President Kim, why you were not wearing your infamous white glove. I mean, if the queen can do it, you'd think a president can. [ laughter ] Well anyway, white gloves or not, being here is a still a great honor for me, standing on the legendary Dartmouth campus, where the great American poet, Robert Frost once walked. Where so many governors and senators and judges and cabinet members earn their degrees. But to me, perhaps most importantly and most memorably, is where John "Bluto" Blutarsky first uttered the immortal words, toga, toga. [ laughter ] If you think I don't have Animal House on my iPad, you are wrong. That's the first one I downloaded. [ laughter ] Now I do realize that Bluto didn't really go to Dartmouth, but knowing that I was coming to the campus that inspired one of my all-time favorite movies, really was pretty exciting and of course, I look forward to eating a meal at home plate and taking a dip in the Connecticut River, but it looks like those two options are out. [ laughter ] [ applause ] Sorry about that. [ applause ] College today is very different than when I went to college. I also want to welcome all the graduate students here and everyone else. This is an exciting opportunity for me. I've spoken at, before at many college commencements. But on graduation morning, most students don't listen very well. Because they're either too excited, too terrified or too hungover or some combination thereof. So I'm glad that I'll have the opportunity to speak with all of you as if you were, as though you were in the middle of your academic journeys and really do look forward to answering some questions afterwards. Just two months ago I gave the commencement speech at my alma mater, Johns Hopkins. I entered my freshman year at there 50 years ago. I know, wow. In the summer of 1960. And I told the graduates that a lot had changed on the campus. But in, but a lot had not changed and really the biggest changes from then to now are in America. Back then the promise of the American dream was still out of reach for far too many. There was no civil rights act for minorities, no voting rights act for the disenfranchised, no Medicaid for the poor and no Medicare for the elderly. But by the end of the 1960's, all of that had changed and it changed because Americans, many of them young like you and idealistic, had the courage to fight for their ideals. Now we didn't have all the answers back then, but we asked the right questions I think, on civil rights, poverty, education, women's rights, environmental protection and then so on. And over time, unfortunately I think, what's changed in America is people have stopped asking these questions. What's really happened is that good intension's became confused with good results and honest dialog became confused with political correctness and religious convictions became confused with scientific evidence. We've come a long ways since then, since I was a college student, and we do have a lot to be proud of, but I think today we face enormous challenges. Some of them a lot greater than we did back then. Many of which I think we've been much too slow to confront. Immigration, education, climate change, rising health care costs, the list goes on and that's where all of you come in and that's what I wanted to talk to you about today. As you study, think about these and other issues. I'd like to share with you some of the lessons that I've learned since I stood in your shoes and I hope that when you think of these things, you'll find those ideas useful. In organizing these lessons, I thought I would take a page from Dartmouth's book by adopting your plan D or D Plan, as you call it. And I'm told D Plan helps guide you through the dizzying maze of choices you face. Well, here's the bad news. In the real world, unfortunately, there is no D Plan. But I'm going to give you an alternative and I will call it the B Plan. No, it's not the Bloomberg plan. That you can read about in that thrilling autobiography, Bloomberg by Bloomberg, currently ranked number 157,179 on Amazon.com. [ laughter ] As a matter of fact, somebody once said, the rarest book in the world is an unautographed copy of Bloomberg by Bloomberg. [ laughter ] [ applause ] The B Plan, like the D Plan, is divided into quarters. And it contains some ideas that I hope will guide you on your journey. So here we go. First and foremost and most importantly is, be independent. You can be a democrat or a republican. As a matter of fact, I have been both. Or you can be anything else. But never make the mistake of thinking that any particular political party has a monopoly on ethics or good ideas. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me in government is how many highly intelligent people are willing to accept a party's conventional wisdom, without asking the hard questions. And they follow ideology and special interests and the polls, instead of following the facts. We have a saying in city government in New York, that I think served us well for a long time, in God we trust, everyone else bring data. And the reality is both liberals and conservatives have some good ideas. The only problem is that too often neither side is able or willing to admit that the other side might actually be onto something. Take immigration. Liberals tend to talk about our need for more immigrants and conservatives tend to talk about the need to control our borders. And you know what, they are both right. Our refusal to let more immigrants into this country is sending jobs overseas and threatening our long term economic health. It is what I call national suicide. At the same time, our ability to stop the flow of illegal immigrants threatens our long term national security. And this spring I helped launch a bipartisan coalition called the partnership for new American economy, that includes mayors and business leaders who understand how important this issue is and we'll try to shift the debate away from the extremes and towards a common sense, common ground solution. This is perhaps the single greatest problem facing our country today and for the record, there is no courage in Washington to face this issue, whatsoever. It is not partisan, it is not tied to one side of the aisle or the other, at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue or the other. The truth of the matter is, in Washington they are so afraid of facing this issue that if you bring it up, they literally leave the room. So number one in my B plan is, be independent. The second part of the B plan is, be innovative. Being innovative starts with having the guts to take risks and whenever you try new things, chances are you are going to fail some of the time. I certainly have. One of the best things that ever happened to me was a failure in the first company I worked for after 15 years in 1981, when I was fired. It was a job that I absolutely loved, but the very next day I took a chance and began a technology company in the hopes of making financial information available to people right at their fingertips and also to get even with those who fired me. [ laughter ] And living well is the best revenge folks. Never forget that. [ laughter ] And everyone told me I was crazy. Now, they probably were right, but it was the best thing that I ever did for my career and if you fast forward 20 years to 2001, everyone told me I was crazy to run for mayor when I fired myself from my company. And they were probably right. But thank goodness, I did not let that stop me. I think in politics, too many elected officials tend to play it safe. Because the conventional wisdom is to try and keep everyone happy and that's never been the approach that I have taken and I believe that if you take on big controversial issues, people will respect you for it over the long run. And it really is the only way you are going to get things done and make a big difference. So the key to being innovative is to go where others wouldn't dare and I wanted to give you a couple of examples. A number of years ago I suggested that we should ban smoking in New York City in public places. Not that I have anything against smoking, if you want to kill yourself, you're perfectly willing to do so. I think it's really Darwin at work. You've got to be pretty stupid to smoke if you look at the medical advice. But having said that, if you want to do it, I think you have the right to do it. What you don't have the right to do however, is to kill somebody else and if you smoke in an enclosed place, you are doing exactly that. There was enormous uproar, I had to force it through our city council, there were threats of court challenges, people picketed and threw things at me. Everybody said that the restaurants and hotels would go out of business, nobody would ever visit New York City again, all of our citizens would head over to New Jersey. [ laughter ] Christy Whitman, who was the governor of New Jersey, told me shortly there afterwards that her son would not stay in New Jersey and go to a bar because he couldn't stand smelling the smoke and the truth of the matter is people came into New York. It turned out to be a God send for the restaurant and hotel industry and the tourism business. It helped us increase life expectancy in New York City in the last 8 years, by 19 months. One year and seven months of 8.4 million people living longer, is really quite something if you think about it and smoking cessation was a very big part of it. And today, I don't think you could find a restaurateur or a bar owner or somebody that worked in either one, who would want to roll this back. In fact, we did it and shortly there afterwards, all of Europe followed and most big cities in America followed. Even in the tobacco growing states today, the big cities in Tennessee and places like that, have banned smoking in public places. It was not popular, nobody wanted to take their picture with me. When I would do a parade on Staten Island, I got a lot of one finger waves. [ laughter ] But nevertheless, by doing what was right, it turned out that people loved it and that gave us the ability to go and take on other public health issues. Another place where we've tried to make a difference in this country and we've not been so successful yet, is getting rid of guns in the hands of children and criminals. There are federal laws that say you can't sell guns to criminals or to minors and then congress passes laws that make it virtually impossible for the police department to enforce those laws. The NRA is out there taking no prisoners. They support, there's a website that you can go on and it says, 50 caliber gun, capable of bringing down a large airliner at a mile and a half. Now, I understand why people might want to buy a guy to go hunting or even protect themselves, but why do you need a gun that can bring down a large airliner at a mile and a half? And it is, makes no sense whatsoever. But again, congress has explicitly refused to address the issue. As a matter of fact, the leadership on both sides of the aisle and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, runs away from anything with the word gun it, faster than they run away from things with the words immigration in it and you will take a look at every bill that is being passed today, there is always a carve out for the NRA. Nevertheless, while I may be a target for the NRA and I'm lucky enough to have been on their monthly magazine with a target behind me, it's the kind of thing that you want to take on when you're out there. Because if you don't run big risks and if you don't try big things, you're never going to accomplish very much and you're not going to like what you see in the mirror. Now, if you've been following the B Plan so far, you've been independent and you have been innovative. So my third thing is, be generous. Americans are the most generous people in the world. We give more of our time and money than people in any other country do and it's great to see more and more young people choosing to volunteer and join service organizations, both in college and after graduation. One of the things that I've been most proud of in New York City, is how we reach out, reach in our own pocket for the money to do so, we reach out and help those who are less fortunate than the rest of us. In New York City, for example, about 1 in every 3500 people live on the streets. If you do the math with 8 odd million people, it's 2500 people that sleep on the subways or under bridges and virtually every one we interface with, we try to bring them into shelters, we try to give them counseling. But they have either psychological or addiction problems and they just don't want to go near us. And the question is, how does that stack up compared to other cities in this country. We're 1 out of every 3500. LA is 1 out of every 96. And the rest of this country is somewhere in the middle. The bottom line is, New Yorkers are generous, they reach into their pockets and we have programs to really help people rather than just talk about it. Now when I got out of college, my generation didn't really have a choice about service. In those days we had the Vietnam War and there was a draft and everybody had to go. Nobody went to Canada or burned their draft card. I don't care what they say in the play, Hair. The bottom line is, you were called, you had to go. And at the last minute, I hadn't even bothered to look for a job when I was getting out of college, but it turned out that my flat feet kept me out of the Army. Who knew? And so I spent my time doing other things in this country. And I think no matter whether we're fighting a conflict in Vietnam or in Iraq or Afghanistan, when you talk about service, the first group of people that earn my admiration are those in our all volunteer Army and Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard, Air Force, that are out there protecting us. Particularly on college campuses, where you say things that you probably won't say later on when you're an adult and working for a living. But when you, we have a freedom today on our college campuses, that is being paid for by other people the age of the students on college campuses, who dedicated their lives, put their lives at risk even, to go overseas and fight this country's battles. They've been doing it for the last 235 years and every once in a while on college campuses it becomes fashionable to picket against the war, picket whatever war it happens to be, picket against the troops. You can picket against the war, but the troops that we send over, whether they're drafted or their volunteers, those are the people that are giving us the right to picket and we should never forget that. When you get out of school, if you want to help your community or even while you are in school, there are plenty of ways to do it. You can tutor a kid, you can help plant a tree, you can volunteer at a hospital, you could spend time in a developing country. God knows places like Haiti need volunteers to come in and to help mitigate this terrible tragedy that the world has basically walked away from. There are lots of ways to help. In New York City, we've tried to formalize it. We've started something called NYC Service. We hired a woman to run it. I've got the Rockefeller Foundation and then for the first round and then my foundation along with the Rockefeller Foundation, has given grants to other cities around the country, can hire somebody to coordinate their volunteer efforts. And what we're trying to do is to answer President Obama's call for a new era or service and actually match up volunteers with organizations that need them. Matching skill sets or abilities. Some of the things we've done in New York is we've trained 51,000 I think it is, New Yorkers, in CPR. We've administered 160,000 H1N1 vaccinations. We've sent 3 or 4000 care packages to New Yorker's serving in Afghan and Iraq. We've painted something like 225,000 square feet of rooftops, that reflect the Sun and save energy. We've formed an organization to convince other cities to follow along. It's called Cities of Service. You can go on the web and find out some more information about it if you are interested. And I know there are lots of service opportunities here at Dartmouth and I would encourage all of you to take advantage of it. Not only will it put a smile on your face as you turn out the light and the last glimpse in the mirror, I can just tell you, it is great for meeting people and when you get out into the business world, one of the things you will find is that a great deal of the networking and contacts that you make, are built around philanthropy. In New York City, it is the major thing that pulls people together. You look at a board of a charity and you will see people from all economic groups, all ethnicities, all parts of the city, all economic groups, working together. And it helps your business, it makes you feel better and it can also help your social life incidentally. So I would urge you to do that. And the final element of the B Plan and this goes back to my Boy Scout days is, be prepared. I know what you're thinking. You're already prepared. You've mapped out the rest of your life, the rest of your education, post graduate work, residences, fellowships, clerkships and you're going to have a long, meaningful career. You have all of your plans already laid down. That's not the preparation I am talking about. Because let me tell you, the likelihood of you winding up ten years from now doing what you think you're going to be doing ten years from now, is probably less than 1 in 10. The truth of the matter is, you don't know what opportunities are going to be presented to you. You don't know where you're going to succeed and where you're going to fail. The careers that you wind up in are invariably going to be very different. So what I would do is I would focus on how I interact with people, how I approach problems. I would get involved in government. If you want to go into public service, I would recommend you first become a billionaire, but that's another issue. [ laughter ] You're going to spend your entire life doing something different than what you think. And the good news is that Dartmouth is preparing you for that. Because while you think they're individual subjects, what they're really teaching you to do is to think and to reason and to build relationships and that's what's going to carry you on. Now if this was a commencement speech, I'd add a few other things. Be kind a courteous and responsible and loyal and all of those kinds of things, but I guess the thing that I really want to tell you is, don't forget to have fun. President Kim is not going to like me for saying that, but I remember having nothing but fun in college. I'm not sure I ever learned anything. As a matter of fact, my academic record, which I am very proud of, is that I always made the top half of the class possible. [ laughter ] You can tell about how smart a group is when you use that joke and then the time from when you finish until they start laughing. It was sort of a C+ I'll say. [ laughter ] You've made it through the winter having a great time here. Diana tells me that this is a great party school. She said all she did was ski. I'm not sure I believe that. I think she probably did more than that. Drank a lot and probably smoked a lot and all of that sort of stuff. [ laughter ] But, you're getting a great education. Use it well. Thank you for having me. I would urge all of you, when you are looking for a career and if you can find a place, if you have some choice in the location, pick New York City. It is the most wonderful city in the world. It's the most diverse city and it is a meritocracy. It's not an easy city to live in, but it's a fun city to live in. And it's, if you want to be a big fish in a big pond, it's the big apple. Thank you very much. [ applause ] >> President Kim: So, we have people collecting questions, but I get to ask the first one so. >> Mayor Bloomberg: OK. >> President Kim: Mayor I asked you a form of this the first time we met, but you know, I've been working on social goals for most of the last 25 years. Health care and health care in developing countries. And the thing that I notice is that when it comes to our most important social goals, health, social welfare, education, that not only do we often execute poorly, but we seem to tolerate poor execution, sometimes even celebrate poor execution. That being on the social side means that it's OK to not meet budgets. And you have somehow made the transition, so that working in an environment where if you execute poorly you're out of business, you've brought that sense to the city government. And so, I talk a lot here at Dartmouth about needing to build a science of execution around social goals. When you don't have market forces disciplining poor execution, you've got to find out other ways to make sure that the execution happens. How have you done that? >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well accountability is everything. We tend to, for example in government, start programs and we do the reverse of what you do in business. In business, if a product line is doing well, you move your resources into that. In government, we move resources from programs that work to programs that don't work. Because nobody stands up and screams for more for the good programs, they only scream for those programs that are abject failures. And it's because the people who work in those programs want to keep their jobs. And typically, government turns around and changes the equation and starts working for the people who deliver the service rather than the people to whom the service is being delivered. For example, public education in this country, is generally run for the people that work in public education. Teachers, principles, custodians, whatever and not for the students. And you say, well how can that be? The bottom line is, legislators want to get re-elected and the teachers vote and the students don't. And you say, well what about the parents? You meet people all the time. And you say, is your kid going to a good school? Oh yes, my child is going to a great school. OK lady, how do you know? The teacher told me it was a great school. But lady, your kid can't read. Well, but I like the teacher. And that's unfortunately what happens. Public education is a disaster in this country. We have far and away the best graduate education, after high school, under graduate and graduate school, but we have a dismal, we're way down in the list of how good public schools are throughout the world. In a world where it's more global and more competitive, half the people in this country are creationalists. I don't know what kind of a doctor you go to if you're a creationalist, but how could you go to somebody that doesn't believe in science? How can you teach kids that science doesn't matter? And yet we do that. And there's nobody screaming for it other than in certain pockets. People like the Gates Foundation, have given away a lot of money, Eli Broad, to try to help public education and we've made some big progress in our city, but there's still a whole bunch of New York City elected officials, who don't want to improve the public schools. As a matter of fact, we're trying to close 19 schools and we've been sued by some organizations that represent poor minorities in our city, where these schools are failing their kids and they're suing to have us keep the schools open. It's counterintuitive, but it all gets back to how much the pressure groups that can influence elected official's campaigns. And so the NRA, which is totally unreasonable on guns, it scares all the elected officials because they say, if we don't vote the way we want you to vote, we will get your opponent elected and the elected official says hey, this is the only way I can feed my family. So it all comes down to that I think. We're devoting our resources in the wrong ways, that's why we won't focus on immigration, tort reform, health care. We passed a health care bill that does absolutely nothing to fix the big health care problems in this country. It is just a disgrace. The President, in all fairness, started out by pointing out what the big problems were, but then turned it over to congress, which didn't pay any attention to any of those big problems and just created another program that is going to cost a lot of money and it's, it's really sad. Because they say they've insured or provided coverage for another 45 million people, except there's no doctors for 45 million more people. And unless they fix immigration and let people who come here for medical education stay here, those people are just going to do the same thing. They're going to have to go to the emergency rooms where they've been, except that now it's going to cost a lot more money. >> President Kim: You take a fundamentally different approach though Mayor Bloomberg. You, you know, you set incentives in your company. Are you setting incentives in the government in the right way? Can you just do things by proclamation? Is it policy change? >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well, government is, has, we have a democracy and I think what's interesting is that people in business think that in government, nobody works very hard and innovates. And I can only tell you that is not true. We have an awful lot of hard working people who really are very creative, who could make a lot more money in the private sector, but choose not to. People in government think in business you snap your fingers and everybody jumps and that is not true either. What we've tried to do is to set some goals out and measure our progress towards those goals, but it is very disappointing. We have a list of every single thing that we promised during the first time I ran for office, during the campaign and the second time, four years later and the third time, four years after that. And every year we update the list and we say which things are finished and which things we're working on and which things we want to get to but so far we don't have the money or we're tied up in court or we just don't have the resources in terms of people and then which things are no longer needed or turned out to be dumb ideas. And you know exactly what the press focuses on. It's only that fourth category. And in the end, the press, if they won't write about the accomplishments that any part of government does, it's harder to get the resources for those things. But nevertheless, we've set our targets and we're going to blindly push on. And I think that if you and my advice to anybody when they get elected is, do the tough things first and then you have time to show that they work and if you can show that you've had some successes, then you can do two things. One you'll have the courage internally and the support to do more and two, you'll be able to attract great people. And that is true for businesses or for government. I'll give you a good example. In New York City, when I came into office, we have in our school system, 1 million 100,000 kids. We have 80,000 teachers. Back in 2002, we had 12,000 teachers quit or retire each year. That's 15% turnover. You cannot run anything with a 15% turnover. It's a disaster. Just too many comings and goings. And incidentally, we could not replace those 12,000 people with certified teachers. We just couldn't get them. Today, something like 5000 quit or retire each year, down from 12,000 and we have between 50 and 60,000 applicants from across the country, to fill those 5000 slots. Why? Because people getting out of school that want to make a difference, want to go where there is change and we're focusing on really doing the tough things and that's New York City with our education department and so they want to be part of that. They want to go to a place that's fun and challenging. That's New York. And they want to go to a place that's safe. And so low crime really is one of the things that lets us attract great people. But we get people who could make an awful lot more money around the world, who have world class reputations, who want to come to be part of something because they think that we're really making a difference. Why are we making a difference? Because they've seen us do it in the past, so they believe it for the future. >> President Kim: A question from the audience is about the education system. What were your policy and practical considerations in deciding to appoint the school board superintendent rather than have him or her elected? What have been the benefits and challenges of a new system? >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well the skills to get elected, are different than the skills to serve. And I'm not suggesting we shouldn't have democracy, but there is something to be said for a democracy like Singapore's. In Singapore, you can't stand for election unless you have certain credentials. You have to have run something and have a PhD and published and done this. New York Times would say, and you also have to be the son of the last leader. But that's another issue. Having qualifications to run for office, some people would argue, is not democratic. Everybody who's a citizen should be able to apply, put themselves in front of the voters. Of course then we have parties that prevent that. But the question is, do you really want to go and elect, I'll give you a good example, judges. Why do you think that the skills to go out and campaign, have anything to do with the skills to be a good judge? Or the skills to get elected to be any, have anything to do with being a good schools chancellor? As a matter of fact, people always say, well you have to involve the parents. Parents do have a real responsibility. They have the children most of the time. Teachers have the children for maybe five hours a day, five days a week, twenty six weeks in a year. The parents have them all the rest of the time. But the skills in the classroom are very different than the skills in the home. And what you're supposed to teach in the classroom is very different than what you're supposed to teach in the home. And I don't think that if you put the parents in charge of the school system, you will get the kind of educational system you want. You want somebody who understands what the world is going to require of these children when they grow up and how to marshal the best science in terms of teaching and to attract and manage the people who can provide that service and that's a management skill that has nothing to do with either being a parent or running for office. I would argue that having a mayor for example, in a city, is fine. You can argue that you should have a legislature to along with it. I think a lot of the purists would say that's a check and balance on the mayor. But if you look at places where there are strong legislatures, for example, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, you will find disasters at the state level where they have strong legislatures. As a matter of fact, take a look at Washington. We have, the president can propose, the president can conjole and maybe influence, but it's congress that writes the laws and allocates the money. Are you happy with what they've been doing? The public doesn't seem to be. And so I would argue, now keep in mind as an executive, I have a vested interest in doing this, but I would argue that the publics safeguard is every four years at the ballot box and you should pick somebody who you think is very smart and ride with them for the period and the extent that you have to allocate powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch. Far and away, you should give more powers to the executive branch if you want progress. I feel the same way about the governance of the schools, just in case you. [ laughter ] >> President Kim: Wonderful idea. Wonderful idea. [ laughter ] >> Mayor Bloomberg: The faculty here would love it. >> President Kim: Great idea. This is a wonderful question from one of our students. I have recently been bold, asking the hard questions and am now spurned by the few who are threatened. How do you yourself bounce back from the fallout of asking the hard questions? The obstacles? [Inaudible]. >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well first thing, when they're not looking, just walk up and cold-cock them. [ laughter ] And you could also let the air out of the tires of their car and you know, some things like that. I wouldn't suggest anything more serious than that. You know, to some extent you're known by the enemies you have. To some extent you have to look in a mirror and say, I know it's not popular, but I know I'm doing what's right. Sometimes you just have to do things that you don't think is in your own interest. I'll tell you a story. I just thought about it. The first day I ever campaigned was back in the summer of 2001. I decided to run for mayor and I went to Staten Island on this boardwalk with somebody else and I had never before walked up to total strangers and said, hi, I'm Mike Bloomberg and it does take, it's not a natural thing to do. And it does take a long time. After eight and a half years of waving and parades and shaking hands of everybody on the street and every cop and firefighter and everybody on the subway in the morning, you get used to it. But it's just not a natural thing. Anyways, this nice little old lady, about this tall, gray hair, looks up at me adoringly and she said, oh I'm so glad you're running for office and I'm going to vote for you and all of my friends are going to vote for you. And as a matter of fact, the guy you're running against is going to drop out because he'll realize it is hopeless to run against you and you will be a great mayor. And I'm thinking, hey this is great. You know, I'm going to get this all over in one day. And then she looked up to me, very adoringly and she said, and I'm so glad you're pro-life. Now I happen to be so adamantly pro-choice that I don't' even want to talk about it. I am NARAL's biggest supporter regardless, regardless. It doesn't matter. It's what I believe. OK? And for an instant I thought, what do you say. Here is a potential voter, the first one I've talked to, like to get elected, think I could do a good job if I did get elected. Do you obfuscate, do you change the subject, do you speak in double speak? That's what most elected officials do. If you go back and look when they were running and said I thought they promised me X and in fact they're doing Y, you'll see that they have a skill that lets you say something that everybody believes, everybody hears what they want to hear. I voted for the war, but not to fund it. I'm pro-choice, but not for women. [ laughter ] It's that kind of and congress does it all the time. They want to show that they're tough on corruption, so they pass a law that's tough on corruption, but there's a provision where every city that doesn't want to enforce the law can just sign a piece of paper and waiver out of it. And we don't go back and ask the follow up question. What's the effect of what you've done? Or they pass a law, well there's a reason why congress passes 2000 page bills. That was the financial bill they passed yesterday or the health care bill. It's because nobody can possibly read it. And so they can go back to their constituencies, no matter what their constituencies are and say, I protected you. As a matter of face, some very wise person once said that, the job of an elected official is to take money from the wealthy, votes from the poor and convince both groups that they are the only protection from the other side. You should listen to that, it's funny. [ laughter ] >> President Kim: Two questions that are linked. The first is from one of our business students. As a recent arrival from the UK, I'd be interested in hearing your perspective on the financial regulatory form passed by congress yesterday is likely to impact the relative competitiveness of New York and London, as financial centers. And related to that, what happened with Labron? [ laughter ] >> Mayor Bloomberg: The only time. [ applause ] The only time Lebron James ever came up was, in a serious ways, was when we looked at what the taxes were on his salary between New York City state and Miami, Florida. State and city taxes. Dramatically different. I don't know that that was one of the differences, but the amount of money he's going to take home in Florida is a lot greater than it would be in New York. So people would think you can keep taxing, there's a good example, you cannot. [ laughter ] The only time anybody ever yelled at me on the subway was one guy screamed at me, fix the Nicks. I can do a lot of things, but I can't do that. [ laughter ] And what's more, I grew up in Boston. I was a Celtic's fan. [ cheering ] [ applause ] Thanks. It doesn't earn me a lot of points when I go to a Nick's game, but that's neither here nor there. In terms of competitiveness, you can move from one place to another, but it's not easy. You can move for one reason, but that doesn't mean that there isn't another reason that would consent you not to move. London or the UK, just passed a very stiff higher tax, temporary. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge I want to sell you. So the tax incentives at the moment would favor New York. Regulation here, it all is a question of what the regulations are actually, which ones are implemented. The way this bill is written, congress has some broad ideas and then the SCC and the treasury and the fed, have to write the actual things that you've got to do. That's where all the lobbyists come in and if you want to know, will they really change things, just remember that virtually every part of our financial industry has some oversight by different committees in congress. And the reason I point that out is, the people that are on those committees, get the funding for their campaigns so that they can stay in office and feed their families from the industries that they regulate. So if you think they are going to kill the golden goose, you don't understand government. >> President Kim: One question was what is the most important problem in the country today and how would you go about fixing it. >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well I would argue that immigration longer term is that and public education. I think the president really deserves a lot of credit. He and his education secretary, Arnie Duncan, to try to do something about public education. Although you can see congress trying to water it down. When you have a program that distributes monies based on states or localities doing things, there's an awful lot of states or localities that don't want to do those things, but they want their share of the money. And the way congress works is whether it's homeland security money or education funds or agriculture or anything else, everybody gets something. That's the ways they put together a coalition to pass the laws. And so, New York City may be the biggest target. Every time you catch a terrorist, they've got a map of New York City and not of a corn field in Nebraska. But let me tell you, Nebraska gets it's share of homeland security monies just like everybody else. We are unwilling to really focus on education. We are unwilling to really focus on immigration. What I would do is first I would try to get the president to do this so far unsuccessfully, I would say, go to congress and say, the one immigration thing I want to do right now is we'll pass a law that will let anybody come to this country, if they're willing to start a small business and employ ten Americans and as long as you keep employing ten or more Americans, you can keep your green card. That would go towards two things that people want. One, bringing diversity to the business community and two, getting jobs for people and congress probably would listen to that. Because they are concerned about jobs. They get beaten up for not enough jobs all the time. That would probably work. I think anything else in immigration, certainly nothing until after November and I'm skeptical that after that this country has the courage to go into pass comprehensive immigration reform. We are desperate for the doctors and lawyers and dentists and scientists and educators that we need to improve our country to create the jobs and yet, I think the reality is everybody is talking about something different with education reform. Because where I say we should bring in those people we need for, whether it's for agriculture or for science or whatever, there's an awful lot of people that view education, immigration reform as bringing in their relatives. And if we ever did get immigration reform, I think that we probably would not allocate very many people for those, very many visa's for those that we actually need. It is a very big problem. >> President Kim: Right. So again, let me read this verbatim, it's important. Being a New Yorker and a proud supporter of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, when will you seriously consider making a run for the white house? You would be great. We need you and I'd work my tail off to get you there. >> Mayor Bloomberg: Well thank you Diana, for that question. [ laughter ] [ applause ] I am, number one I am gainfully employed. I've made a commitment for the next 1263 days, but who's counting. And I, mayors don't go on to other offices. People would say higher office, but I would argue that perhaps the best political job and the best chance to individually change society is being a mayor, particularly of a big city. Arguably being the mayor of New York is the best political job in the world. We have our own foreign policy, I've got the eighth biggest army in the NYPD. We've got a budget that's bigger than most country's GNP. We've got more people that live in New York than live in the second largest city in the country they came from. So New York is really different. But mayors have to, unlike in my examples of pro-choice but not for women, mayors have to explicitly say yes or no and be on the record and then have the press follow it and deliver the service the next day, not just promise the service. And you don't make friends by doing that. I am and every one of my positions cuts out half the country. So I am pro-choice, I'm pro gay rights, I'm pro immigration, I'm against guns, I believe in Darwin. It's down to Diana, my mother and me left and I'm not sure about my mother. [ laughter ] So there's not a chance that you could get elected and I have a commitment to finish out this term. So if drafted, I won't run unless I really thought you had a chance to win. [ laughter ] Once again, you've got to think guys, come on. No, no is the answer and if the press is in the back, it's not true. I'm not running. Make that clear. [ laughter ] >> President Kim: Beyond painting rooftops and building parks, what environmental or clean energy related programs is New York City working on and would they work in other cities? >> Mayor Bloomberg: Yes, sure they would work in other cities. If you're interested you can go on the web. Plan wise C has 127 different points. One of them are working with Bette Midler to plant a million trees. Trees clean the air and improve property values. Painting roofs. We have changed our building code, so there's a real incentive to upgrade your boiler and your air conditioner. We have worked very hard to change the city's fleet of vehicles and we have tens of thousands of vehicles in our city. We have 300,000 employees. We have a lot of police cars and garbage trucks and fire trucks and all of the inspectors that go around have to have their own cars. We've gone to hybrids for an awful lot of those. We've made a commitment to by the year 2017, reduce our greenhouse gases for city facilities and city cars, by 30% and the overall objective is to reduce the whole city by 2030. But I've never asked anybody to do something that I'm not willing to do. So we have the commitment to get it done. I'll only be in office until 2013, but we'll have made a big start on all of these programs and you should go on the web and look at NYC, Plan NYC and it's fascinating that kinds of things that you can do to reduce consumption, congestion pricing. We tried to do our state legislature wouldn't go along with that. But we certainly have to move more people over to mass transit. It's interesting, New York City is exactly reverse of virtually every other city. Most cities, 80% of the pollution comes from transportation and 20% from buildings. But because so many people from New York City walk or take mass transit, in our city it's 20% from transportation and 80% from buildings. So a lot of programs that make buildings more efficient in terms of using less energy or wasting less energy, are high on the list and will have a very big impact. >> President Kim: So, in closing, Mayor Bloomberg, you've told our students that they should party a lot, swim in the Connecticut. >> Mayor Bloomberg: Toga, toga, toga, toga. >> President Kim: Toga, toga, toga. [ laughter ] But, let me let you redeem yourself by with this question. [ laughter ] We talk a lot and we've been talking a lot about particular habits of the mind, you mentioned it, independence, innovation, persistence. What is your, one of the habits of your mind? Since a persistent habit that you've cultivated over the last years of your career, that you think has been most important to you and what direct advice would you give these students in terms of habits that they should, they should cultivate? >> Mayor Bloomberg: I went to Hopkins to study physics and it turned out there was a German requirement. So after 30 days I became an engineer where there was no language requirement. And I think looking back, an engineering background was perhaps the transformative thing in my life. Because, in science and it would have worked if I'd have stayed as a physicist too, I suppose. In science you have to be able to look in a mirror and answer the question. You can't just say something and believe it, you have to be able to show people that you're right. The essence of science is that somebody else independently can verify what you claim you saw. And that discipline of not just taking people's word for it or not just automatically falling into what's generally accepted, has forced me to step back and say why and to question. And if you question why we're doing things, I think you'll find yourself targeting your energies much more efficiently, appropriately and much more, in a much more satisfying way. So if somebody says, well this works, well that may be but you know, stop and think. Does it make any common sense to you? Listen to what people are telling you to do. Think about what they say in the newspaper. Does it make any sense? Do you want to be part of it? Could you do it better? So it's that mental discipline of questioning, which I guess is the scientific method you could call it. There was a great story, there was a great letter to the editor, I think it was the chairman's letter in the Smithsonian Magazine about five or six years ago, where the chairman of the Smithsonian wrote a letter saying he had a lot of friends who had studied liberal arts, who were proud of the fact that they knew nothing about science and bragged about it. But he had other friends who had graduate degrees in the sciences and they never bragged about their lack of knowledge of Shakespeare and I've always thought, that tells you that the sciences force you in a way to the discipline forces you in a ways to really reflect, to look at it and make sure that you want to go in that direction and that you understand the implications of it. And I guess in addition to that, it's just, it isn't not caring, it's just being confident enough in yourself that gets back to your question, the guy that said I take on popular positions and nobody likes me for it. The question is not that they like you for it, the question is do you think it's right. It is great to be loved by everyone but the thing that's most important is that you respect yourself. I'm not suggesting you go out and yell and scream at others and deliberately try to provoke. Sometimes discretion does make sense to not say things. Because you don't want to hurt other people and you could respect their views or not respect their views but they do have a right to their views. I'm getting tied up in New York. There's a group that wants to build a mosque, replace an old building two blocks from ground zero. And there are some people that think that this should be prohibited and that we should investigate where the monies that they hope to raise will come from and to have some restrictions on what they can preach in the mosque. And I have said so many times I'm getting tired of it, not winning a lot of friends in doing so, but I just think it is the most outrageous thing that anybody could suggest. Here we have 9-11, the actual site where some people felt that our freedoms to practice our religion were so abhorrent to them that they were willing to take 3000 people and their own lives. If there's any place that we should be proud to show the world that we are an open country and an open city, if somebody wants to practice their religion, whatever that religion is, they should have the right to do it. And I happen to think this is a very appropriate place for somebody who wants to build a mosque. Because it tells the world that America and New York City, which is what I'm responsible for, really believes in what we preach. We all say freedom of religion. Well it's not just freedom of your religion, it's freedom of everybody's religion. And I don't think this country wants to go in a direction of questioning. [ applause ] A lot of people that didn't applaud you'll notice. I happen to feel very strongly that those values that I was taught in Civics 101, 102, that my parents taught me, if you want freedoms, you've got to give other people their freedoms and this is a perfect example of standing up and those people that died on 9-11 actually died so that we can and the people I talked about going overseas and fighting and dying for us, they're doing that so that we can practice our religion and if you care about religion, you should make sure that the government doesn't get involved in religion. >> President Kim: Mayor Bloomberg, thank you so much. You know, the impotence for this lecture series came from one of our presidents who in 1946, in August of 1946, he was the director of public relations in the state department, when nuclear weapons were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That month he was announced as the next president of Dartmouth College. So when he came here he said on his very first convocation, to all the students. The world's troubles are your troubles, but there's nothing wrong with the world that can't be fixed by better human beings. And he set a tone for us and that's the tone that I've tried to recreate here. Which is, we here at Dartmouth are in the business of building those better human beings who will tackle those problems that you've tackled so effectively. You honor us by being the first speaker in this series. I think you've set a tone for us and on July 29 th, I will be giving the second lecture in the series, where we're trying to view science in a way that I think you'd like. We're trying to understand, what is the science of learning for people from 18 to 22 and older. And how can we bring that to Dartmouth College? For example, we know that physics lectures often aren't very effective, but we still do them. It's part of our habit and there are all kinds of ways of building habits of the mind like persistence and innovation and creativity, that science has taught us how to take those forward. So you're a great example of how you've used your habits of the mind in so many wonderful ways and I just want to thank, join, get the represent the entire Dartmouth community and thank you for coming. [ applause ] >> Mayor Bloomberg: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Contents

Current mayor

The current mayor is Democrat Bill de Blasio, who was elected on November 5, 2013.

History of the office

 Second inauguration of former mayor Michael Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall, 2006.
Second inauguration of former mayor Michael Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall, 2006.

In 1665, Governor Richard Nicolls appointed Thomas Willett as the first mayor of New York. For 156 years, the mayor was appointed and had limited power. Between 1783 and 1821 the mayor was appointed by the Council of Appointments in which the state's governor had the loudest voice. In 1821 the Common Council, which included elected members, gained the authority to choose the mayor. An amendment to the New York State Constitution in 1834 provided for the direct popular election of the mayor. Cornelius W. Lawrence, a Democrat, was elected that year.

Gracie Mansion has been the official residence of the mayor since Fiorello La Guardia's administration in 1942. Its main floor is open to the public and serves as a small museum.

The mayor is entitled to a salary of $225,000.[4] Early-21st-century mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the world[5], declined the salary and instead was paid $1 yearly.

In 2000 direct control of the city's public school system was transferred to the mayor's office. In 2003 the reorganization established the New York City Department of Education.

Tammany Hall

 "New York's new solar system": Tammany Hall revolves around Boss Croker in this 1899 cartoon in Puck.
"New York's new solar system": Tammany Hall revolves around Boss Croker in this 1899 cartoon in Puck.

Tammany Hall, which evolved from an organization of craftsmen into a Democratic political machine, gained control of Democratic Party nominations in the state and city in 1861. It played a major role in New York City politics into the 1960s and was a dominant player from the mayoral victory of Fernando Wood in 1854 through the era of Robert Wagner (1954–65).

Deputy mayors

The mayor of New York City may appoint several deputy mayors to help oversee major offices within the executive branch of the city government. The powers and duties, and even the number of deputy mayors, are not defined by the City Charter. The post was created by Fiorello La Guardia (who appointed Grover Whalen as deputy mayor) to handle ceremonial events that the mayor was too busy to attend. Since then, deputy mayors have been appointed with their areas of responsibility defined by the appointing mayor. There are currently four deputy mayors, all of whom report directly to the mayor. Deputy mayors do not have any right to succeed to the mayoralty in the case of vacancy or incapacity of the mayor (the order of succession is the city's public advocate, then the comptroller).

The current deputy mayors are[citation needed]

Advises the mayor on citywide administrative, operational and policy matters.
  • Deputy mayor for housing and economic development: Alicia Glen
Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Buildings, the Department of City Planning, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation and related agencies.
  • Deputy mayor for health and human services: Herminia Palacio
Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Human Resources Administration, Department of Homeless Services, the Administration for Children's Services, New York City Health and Hospitals, and related agencies.
  • Deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives: Richard Buery
Tasked with implementing and overseeing the expansion of universal prekindergarten, the interagency "Children's Cabinet", the Community Schools Initiative, and the ThriveNYC mental health reform initiative. Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Department for the Aging, Department of Youth and Community Development, Department of Veterans Services, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Manages City's relationship with the City University of New York.

Notable former deputy mayors

Offices appointed

"The mayor has the power to appoint and remove the commissioners of more than 40 city agencies and members of City boards and commissions."[6] These include:

Board member

The mayor of New York City is an ex-officio board member of the following organizations:[6]

In popular culture

Local tabloid newspapers often refer to the mayor as "Hizzoner", a corruption of the title His Honor.

Spin City, a 1990s TV sitcom, starred Michael J. Fox as a deputy mayor of New York under Barry Bostwick's fictional Mayor Randall Winston.

Several mayors have appeared in television and movies, as well as on Broadway, most notably in The Will Rogers Follies. In the 1980s and '90s, Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani appeared on Saturday Night Live on several occasions, sometimes mocking themselves in sketches. Giuliani and Bloomberg have both appeared, as themselves in their mayoral capacities, on episodes of Law & Order. Giuliani also appeared as himself in an episode of Seinfeld. Giuliani has made cameos in films such as The Out-of-Towners and Anger Management. Bloomberg has appeared on 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Horace and Pete.[7][8]

In 24th episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Recycled Koopa, King Koopa dumps his garbage into the Brooklyn and the southern tip of Manhattan (since it seen falling onto City Hall). The people of New York start transforming into Koopa Zombies, and when the brothers try to go to the mayor for help, he, too, succumbs to the toxic waste. This episode aired during the reign of David Dinkins, but the depiction of the mayor seems to be a generic old human man and not based on Mayor Dinkins himself.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ OMB (July 27, 2014). "The City of New York Adopted Budget: Expense, Revenue, Contract" (PDF). 
  2. ^ WCBS (October 23, 2008). "'Aye' And Mighty: Bloomberg's Wish Is Granted". Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Is Term Limit Vote a Big Smack at Mayor? – New York Daily News". New York. Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "League of Women Voters of the City of New York – ABOUT US". Lwvnyc.org. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Forbes Profile". Forbes. Retrieved 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ a b "Office of the Mayor". New York City. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Michael Bloomberg". Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Episode #1.9". March 26, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016 – via IMDb. 
  9. ^ "Recycled Koopa - Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia". www.mariowiki.com. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 

External links

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