HOST INTRO: Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his 2016 State of the City speech last night. In it, he shared some of his administration’s biggest achievements over the last year.De Blasio also outlined his vision for improving transportation, health and police services for residents in the outer boroughs. Daniel Rostas reports.
DE BLASIO 1: Thank you, God bless you all, and God bless the people of New York City. (SPEAKS FOR 0:06 – FADE UNDER)
One thousand people gathered at Lehman College in the Bronx last night to hear Mayor Bill de Blasio lay out his plans for the year. Traditionally, the speech takes place during the day. But this year, for the first time, it was switched to the evening.
De Blasio said the change was made to give all New Yorkers a chance to watch.
DE BLASIO 2: We call these speeches “the State of the City.” To me, that really means the State of Our People. (0:09)
The mayor’s speech covered a wide variety of issues, and made a lot of promises to New Yorkers in the outer boroughs…including ninety-one million dollars for improved libraries and recreation centers in Far Rockaway, and a new health center in Brooklyn.
DE BLASIO 3: We know that with the right support, and a strong faith in the neighborhood, Brownsville can and will rise. (0:08)
As expected, De Blasio announced the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, a new streetcar route between parts of the two boroughs long underserved by public transit.
DE BLASIO 4: BQX, a state-of-the-art streetcar that will run from Astoria to Sunset Park, and has the potential to generate over $25 billion of economic impact for our city over 30 years. That’s how much it will unleash. (0:18)
De Blasio also touted the achievements of a new police unit to fight gun violence… as two NYPD officers were shot just five miles away from where he was giving his speech.
The mayor went on to speak about climate change, which he called “one of the greatest threats we all must confront”.
DE BLASIO 5: We’ve increased the amount of solar power in city-owned buildings 7-fold since 2013. You can see the solar panel on top of city hall. We are committed to solar for the long haul. (0:12)
Finally, the mayor said the employment numbers in New York are looking up, with over 4.2 million total jobs in the city.
DE BLASIO 6: And we created more than 220000 of those jobs in the past two years, that is the most jobs created in two years than any point in the history of this city. (0:18)
The speech also touched on new initiatives to help the homeless, support small businesses, keep streets clean and help New Yorkers save for retirement. A few protestors stood outside the venue holding signs saying “Stop Gentrification”, a jab against De Blasio’s perceived failure to drop housing costs in the city.De Blasio made no mention of an embarrassing political defeat from earlier in the day – City Council was supposed to vote on a proposal to cut the number of horse carriages on city streets, but the vote was scrapped after vocal opposition from unions.
Daniel Rostas, Columbia Radio News.