Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is seeking re-election to a third term, spoke to a packed room at North Shore Towers on Tuesday, August 25.
Residents filled Towers on the Green. The overflow of residents was able to watch the event in video simulcast in the movie theatre.
“The greatest city deserves to have the greatest mayor,” Political Action Committee Chair Murray Lewinter said while introducing Bloomberg.
Bloomberg began his remarks by talking about some of the positive things going on in New York City. He said that life expectancy continues to increase, crime has been decreasing, schools are getting better and improvements have been made to traffic in the city.
Bloomberg also said that, although the economy is still tough for some people and there are those still losing their jobs and houses, the good news is that it is not as bad as had been predicted. Although 200,000 New York City residents were expected to lose their jobs, the amount has actually been 96,000. The mayor said that there are programs to help get people back to work and that a concern is making sure the workforce remains in the city.
“We do have some problems to continue working on,” Bloomberg said.
Some of those areas include helping small business owners, working with the MTA to make it easier to get around, finding funds for MTA capital projects and changing senior centers.
Following his speech, Bloomberg answered questions from residents of North Shore Towers, including one about how MTA reform would benefit the cooperative. Bloomberg said that that solution to public transportation issues in the area would involve buses, adding that taking action to make buses faster would encourage more people to use them.
Another resident also said that the Towers is underserved by mass transit, noting that there are no local buses within a mile of it and it has lost some of its bus service. Bloomberg suggested contacting the co-op’s representative in the Senate and also said residents should hold his own “feet to the fire” to push the MTA.
“I should be out there yelling and screaming and advocating for you,” Bloomberg said.
Telling the mayor of the recently conducted study about if the Towers should continue to generate its own power, Capital Improvements Committee Chair Herb Cooper asked Bloomberg about programs that could help fund upgrades to the plant to increase efficiency and improve emissions. Bloomberg said that he would have his Deputy Mayor of Economic Development get in touch with someone at the Towers.
When asked about an update on Swine Flu, Bloomberg said that no one knows what will happen this fall, although there is a plan to give out a vaccine, which will be ready around Thanksgiving time, if it returns.
In regards to universal healthcare, Bloomberg said that he has been vocal about giving input. He said that some of the concerns are the impact changes will have on the city’s public hospitals and how it will hurt or help Medicaid.
Other topics discussed included financial advice, the cost of tuition at local colleges and community colleges, and congestion pricing.