York City’s Best Days Are Still Ahead
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
newspapers are full of doom and gloom these days. But let’s get
one thing straight: New York remains the greatest City in the
world. It’s no secret City government faces tough budget times.
But that’s not keeping us from going ahead with projects that
improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. I know our best
days are still ahead of us. Let me tell you a few reasons why:
Last Monday, I joined youngsters on Manhattan’s Lower East Side
to celebrate the opening of renovated ball fields, playgrounds,
and basketball and volleyball courts at East River Park. Completing
that job is another major link in opening up our city’s waterfront
to greater public use and enjoyment. By next summer there’ll be
an interim walkway/bikeway running all along Manhattan’s waterfront—including
through East River Park—for nearly 32 miles, creating wonderful
recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers.
Small business remains the backbone of New York’s economy. More
than half of all New Yorkers in the private sector have jobs with
companies that employ fewer than 100 workers. And writing more
small business success stories is crucial to our economic future.
That’s why I went to the Bronx last week to announce that we are
establishing satellite business assistance centers in each of
the boroughs. These centers will offer small business owners one-stop
access to information about everything from tax incentive programs
to bidding for City contracts. Bottom line: We’re working to increase
jobs and opportunity in all five boroughs.
We’re also getting our economy back on track by making New York
a more attractive place for major corporate employers. The recovery
of Lower Manhattan took a big step with the unveiling of plans
for a new 52-story office building to go up on the site of Seven
World Trade Center. Construction of this building has already
begun. When it opens in 2005, it will provide businesses with
nearly 1.7 million square feet of new state-of-the-art commercial
office space. And by restoring auto and pedestrian traffic on
Greenwich Street, the design for the new building will foster
nearby stores and restaurants. That will help make downtown Manhattan
a lively and attractive hub of business activity.
And finally, last week’s Compstat report from the NYPD was full
of more goods news. Crime in New York continues to fall to historic
lows. Crime is 5.5 percent lower than it was a year ago and down
nearly 65 percent from 9 years ago. Murder is down an astonishing
12 percent from last year. And we’re going to keep building on
that progress to protect the lives-and the quality of life-for
all New Yorkers.#
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