New York City Council Approves Bloomberg Run for Third Term
By Tom Nelson, USCM Intern
November 11, 2008
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will run for a third term, despite a 1993 referendum that limited citywide elected officials to two terms. On October 23, the city council voted 29 to 22 on a measure overturning the previous two-term limit. Bloomberg announced his intentions to seek a third term on October 2, arguing that his financial experience gave him special qualifications that could help New York City recover from the recent financial catastrophe that shook Wall Street.
Bloomberg is referring to his time spent on Wall Street, where he began a start-up company called Bloomberg LP in 1981. Today, Bloomberg is a billionaire, and Bloomberg LP has some 9,500 employees in more than 130 cities across the globe.
On August 14 and 15, Bloomberg hosted the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Action Forum on Infrastructure, the second of five Conference Forum’s to prepare an agenda for the next president. The Infrastructure Forum included Conference President Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and more than 50 mayors, as they examined strategies to move the nation forward in combating rising infrastructure needs and worked to help reduce our nation’s energy dependence and curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Bloomberg says his financial knowledge will be vital during the worst financial crisis on Wall Street since the great depression. The Dow Jones has plunged from 13,000 in May to just shy of 9,000 in recent history, while the S&P 500 has dipped from 1408 in May to 848 during the week of October 27.
Regarding the council’s decision, Bloomberg said, “Today, the majority of the city council decided to give the people of New York a fuller choice in the November 2009 election. I believe that was the right choice, and I want to thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership. Those of us who work on both sides of city hall must now move forward with the important decisions that face us, particularly finding ways to soften the fallout from the economic downturn and balancing our budget as revenues decline. We have a lot of work to do together to get New York through these tough times.”
Bloomberg began working toward softening the economic fallout on October 30, when he announced 18 initiatives meant to help New Yorkers. The initiatives are designed to create jobs, support the city’s workforce, small businesses and homeowners, and provide targeted relief to the city’s most vulnerable populations.
Regarding the initiatives, Bloomberg said, “In all likelihood, the current economic downturn will not end quickly. The best thing that we can do for the long haul is to continue to do what makes New York a great place to live and do business; continue to reduce crime to historic lows, make our schools the best in any big city in the nation, enhance our already great quality of life and diversify our economy.”
The 18 initiatives fall into the following categories: job creation, small business support, workforce support, homeowner support, and targeted relief.
Bloomberg believes his vast knowledge and expertise of the economic environment may be enough to propel him to a third term as New York City’s mayor.
He began serving his first term in 2001, just two months after the 9/11 attacks shook New York City to its core. Despite the difficult circumstances, in his first four years as mayor, Bloomberg cut crime 20 percent, created jobs, expanded parks, and increased the standards of New York’s school systems, which as resulted in a 20 percent increase in graduation rates.
Bloomberg’s current term is up in November 2009. He will be facing competition from Anthony Weiner, a U.S. Congressman from Brooklyn and Queens; William Thompson, City Comptroller; Tony Avella, City Council-member; Brue Blakeman, Attorney; and John Catsimatidis, Chief Executive of the Red Apple Group. Bloomberg has declared intentions of spending $80 million to win the race.