Michael Bloomberg, Post-NYC, to Offer International City Rescue Services
Michael Bloomberg, whose tenure as mayor of New York City is due to expire at the end of the year, is to set up a task force to apply the kind of solutions he has developed in the city to others throughout the United States and beyond.
Both the Financial Times and the New York Times are reporting that his new company, Bloomberg Associates, will be staffed with the people who supported him during three terms in public office. He claims he is to offer his services to those cities in America and internationally who are most in need of them. And he will not charge.
Many of his policies in NYC have been remarkably successful. They include:
- forcing fast-food outlets to carry information about the health benefits of their meals;
- pedestrianising many streets;
- introducing cycle lanes and cycling schemes;
- measures to protect the city from flooding;
- measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency of buildings;
- The Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency, or SIRR;
- PlaNYC 2030;
- introducing parks and small areas of green space;
- reducing air pollution.
As our recent exclusive webcast interview with an author of a recent book about his work on sustainability makes clear, Bloomberg worked hard to develop his team and to drive sustainability into the heart of his management of the city. His work also offered other politicians in other cities a roadmap for creating their own sustainability and climate change plans.
Already he has inspired other American cities to follow suit. He himself took some inspiration from fellow Republican (at the time) Arnold Schwarzenegger's work in California.
He was especially good at bringing together representatives of many disparate groups to work in harmony on the plans.
Bloomberg doesn't really need to charge for his services since he is already a billionaire, making his first millions as in equities trader at Salomon Brothers investment bank.
Internationally, Bloomberg has already done a lot. He at first joined the C40, the international consortium of big cities whose members were taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When he discovered that they did not have a steady financing stream and professional staff he helped to merge it with the Bill Clinton Foundation's climate initiative.
The C40 steering committee elected Bloomberg as chairman in September. He gave $50 million to the Sierra Club to bring in their expertise. The C40's nearly 60 members have since adopted initiatives to reduce their combined carbon dioxide emissions by 240 million tons per year by 2020 — that's about 35 times the amount of annual U.S. emissions.
Bloomberg Associates will contain at least half a dozen top aides drawn from his administration: Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner; Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of media and entertainment; and Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner.
Included in his team is also Amanda M Burden, the director of city planning. She told the New York Times: "We have heard this huge demand and need from other cities to learn from New York City".
Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu of New Orleans, for example, received last year a $4 million grant from Mr. Bloomberg to hire a team of eight outside experts who advised the city on how to lower its murder rate. Since then, the city has created a multiagency team to combat gang activity, set up a midnight basketball league to keep young men off the streets and pushed to make it harder for those charged with gun crimes to get out of jail.
Running the Associates' show will be George A. Fertitta, CEO of the city's tourism agency, whose tenure saw a record increase in annual visitors to the city.
Mr. Fertitta said in an interview with the New York Times that the group would eventually expand to about 20 to 25 employees, most of them drawn from the mayor's office. They will work closely with Mr. Bloomberg's charitable foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and both will be housed inside a townhouse on the Upper East Side, close to the mayor's home.