Posts tagged "bloomberg"

“There is no storm, no fire, no terrorist act that can destroy the spirit of our city, and keep us from looking forward envisioning a better tomorrow.”

Um, that’s right Bloomberg.

Only lack of government preparedness before the storm, neglect for the city’s poorest residents, and a lack of shelters with running water and heat can destroy the spirit of our city… And only in the outer boroughs where your friends don’t live… in places that the majority of New Yorkers will never see.

Today the President signed the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act into law, which will finally make the construction and operation of a new natural gas pipeline in New York City a reality. Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City. This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean-energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the City’s future energy needs. I would like to thank President Obama for signing this bill into law and all of the New York City delegation members who supported it, especially the sponsors – Congressman Grimm, Congressman Meeks and Senator Schumer – for their leadership in securing this victory for New York City.
Mayor Bloomberg’s Statement on President Obama’s Signature on the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act (via nycgov)

In NYC alone, Hurricane Sandy created $15.2 billion in uninsured costs.


Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg visited Washington DC joined by Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to ask for fiscal help from the federal government for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

In New York City, the public and private losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, which were not covered by private insurance come to $15.2 billion.  New York City’s recovery is vital to America’s continued economic recovery and growth.

Read the Mayor’s remarks delivered yesterday at the U.S Capitol Building at

Andrew Cuomo claims that Hurricane Sandy has wrought more destruction (measured, apparently, in business dollars and square miles) than Hurricane Katrina, setting off a collective slapping of foreheads. Oh my god, is that where he had to go to get money out of John Boehner? Blech. Politics.

Anyway, the good people at the NYTimes Cityroom created a side by side comparison of the two storms that you should check out by clicking right here.

By the numbers, Sandy is bigger and badder. But remember that New Orleans had a much smaller, poorer, population. The city had fewer politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Mike Bloomberg and Chris Christie who have the influence and visibility to effectively freak out and make life hell for people until they get justice in the form of federal dollars.

Going into Katrina New Orleans was a city that had long flirted with some sort combo of social/infrastructure collapse.

And practically no one got out of Katrina unscathed, while, let’s be perfectly honest, much of NYC is only dimly aware of just how bad things are for their fellow New Yorkers hidden out by the coast in the outer boroughs.


This morning, November 26th, the new temporary commuter ferry service from Great Kills, Staten Island started. The eight-week service will bring relief to, and ease the commutes of neighborhoods in Staten Island that were most impacted by Hurricane Sandy. New York Water Taxi will operate the ferry service from Great Kills Park to Pier 11 at Wall Street and continue on to 35th Street. The one-way fare is $2.00.  Learn more and view the schedule:  

Photo credit: @NYC_DOT Instagram


Today, November 24th, Mayor Bloomberg announced a new program that will make $5.5 million available in matching grants for New York City businesses most impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The grant program which is funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Partnership for New York City will be administered by the New York Business Development Corporation and was developed with the Department of Small Business Services and the City’s Economic Development Corporation.

The grants will provide additional financial assistance for local businesses already seeking low-interest loans through the City’s Emergency Loan Fund. The total amount of loans, grants and other financial assistance available to businesses most affected is more than $45 million.

The new matching grants of up to $10,000 will be available to NYC businesses in all five boroughs that have been displaced from their workplace for 3 weeks and are already seeking emergency loans. The grants will provide critical supplemental assistance to what is being provided through the low-interest loans and will be capped at no more than the amount the business receives in the loans.

For more information or to apply, businesses can call 311 or visit

It’s an imperfect comparison, since Ed Blakely was chosen by Andrew Cuomo, not Mike Bloomberg, but if he has an influential voice on the commission it could set up an epic clash between politicians/planners and the local New Yorkers and the grassroots organizers who actually did all the work in the two weeks after the storm… you know, the people who have first hand dealings with what worked and what didn’t after Sandy swept in.

Why was Blakely picked to be on this commission? Because he did such a great job in New Orleans? He called Ray Nagin a hero and took the credit for a recovery that was driven by community organizers.

From the Time Picayune online (hat tip the the fabulous Bebe, a NOLA native with some very strong opinions on hurricanes):

"The city’s post-Katrina recovery director — deemed a failure by many New Orleanians despite his self-congratulatory book taking credit for the city’s rebound — has been appointed to a commission aimed at arming New York state for future disasters.

In a post called “Ed Blakely to the rescue!,” Gambit Weekly reported Friday that Blakely told an Australian radio station about his appointment to the New York State Respond Commission, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s massive damage.

"Blakely, who once famously forecast "cranes on the skyline" in New Orleans by September 2007, now directs an urban planning center at the University of Sydney in Australia.

"He has opined on various occasions that New Orleans "isn’t likely" to exist a century from now; recommended that the 9th Ward be left to wash away; compared former Mayor Ray Nagin to President Abraham Lincoln; and published  a book about New Orleans with a photo of a flooded Slidell on the cover.

"The book, called "My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina" and published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, details how his work — not New Orleanians or community organizers — led to the city’s recovery. Blakely’s “target zone” recovery plan is considered by many a failure that accomplished little of what it set out to do.”


Give thanks and give back this weekend.  Sign up to help NYC Parks dig out Rockaway Beach or recover parks in Manhattan and Queens. 

Register at


Today, Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation announced a request for bids from New York-area ferry service operators for a new, temporary service from Great Kills, Staten Island to Manhattan that will serve communities heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The new service…

h/t Gothamist. 

In an ideal world, Occupy Sandy’s relief effort would be so successful that there would be no need for Occupy Sandy.

This day, of course, still seems far away — one need look no further than Midland Beach, Staten Island to see that the place depends almost completely on grassroots volunteers and the Dept of Sanitation — it’s coming. You can hear it with every new radio address from Bloomberg. You can read it in the latest NYCHA press release. You can see it as people find permanent and semi-permanent places to live that have power and heat.

In the next few weeks there will be less and less room for the role that Occupy played so well: the massive distributor of goods and services that took the place of grocery stores, clinics, and shops.

Will Occupy be okay with that? For as horizontal in structure, as non-hierarchical as the group claims to be, it seems to feel that it owns this relief effort.

"I’ve yet to see these people doing anything productive with their time." says one Occupy organizer, gesturing to a National Guard truck. (The National Guard has been working 24 hours a day to remove pieces of boardwalk and toxic debris out of Bob’s yard, and has helped clean up tons of rubble in Staten Island, but no matter.)

"They shouldn’t be feeding the cops and the fire fighters," an Occupy organizer in Staten Island tells me, when I mention that the Hallowed Sons have been serving hot food to public workers. "They can take care of themselves. They have enough."

It’s intriguing, this sense of ownership… this sense that Occupy does it better… this sense that it’s alright to be completely disdainful of the efforts of the government, while espousing a philosophy of being sensitive to the needs of the residents in hard hit communities, many of whom are the very cops and firefighters Occupy might imply have just been wastes of space or who have enough. (“This is not charity, this is mutual aid and community building” is an oft heard phrase ‘round Occupy HQs in Brooklyn)… 

An argument could be made that they indeed, already don’t own the recovery, that no one does. But what happens when it’s clear that what they do best — that massive distribution web — becomes less important? Would you want an Occupy Volunteer inspecting your house? An Occupy Volunteer doing your wiring? An Occupy Volunteer representing your legal rights as you work through the maze of FEMA/NYCHA/small business/insurance company paperwork?

What happens when people are finally given the services — with varying degrees of success — that only government can provide (heat, power, massive debris removal, building inspection, public transportation, safety in the streets)? What happens when people can go to stores? Make food at home? Do the laundry?

Occupy’s efforts have unquestionably been the driving force keeping people alive and safe after the storm. But I’m curious about what happens when other forces start to sustain New Yorkers. Will Occupy find a way to work with officials and big agencies as they step in? Will Occupy adapt to new roles? Recede into the background? Make snide remarks about how no one else does anything around here? 

Will Occupy Sandy fight to own the recovery or find a way to be relevant?

Bloomberg embraced! Yay!

A welcome 180 from “The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns” 


On Saturday, November 17, Mayor Bloomberg thanked the National Guard troops for their help in Sandy relief efforts. (via NYCMayorsOffice Instagram)

This is great and all, but checking on residents in highrise and lowrise buildings is something that volunteers have been doing for weeks. 

Glad to see that the Mayor’s office just caught on…


Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Gibbs and Chief Service Officer Billings-Burford today announced volunteers will begin to contact and assess residents in buildings less than six stories that still do not have electricity, heat or running water as part of a new targeted door-to-door canvass…


“The mayor should be embarassed,” said Goldenberg bundled up in three layers of clothes, sitting in her pitch black home. “In two weeks, Russia could restore a city. In New York City, they can’t even repair a house.”

Brighton Beach resident Mya Zabilotskaya, 78, choked back tears when asked why…

November 16, 2012

1. Tell Bloomberg what’s what (via Occupy Sandy)

At Noon TODAY FRIDAY 11/16, in front of City Hall, nurses, doctors, EMTs, and other healthcare professionals will go to the mayor to demand more coordinated action to rebuild our city’s healthcare infrastructure and care for the thousands of people hurting after Hurricane Sandy.

  • WHEN: Friday, Nov. 16, Noon
  • WHERE: In front of City Hall, 260 Broadway, Manhattan, NY

Volunteers in the field urgently need supplies and greater help from the federal and city government. These life-saving volunteers have told us themselves that they can’t fill the place of a real community health network, and are asking us to help get clinics, pharmacies and hospitals re-opened. We’re taking a list of those medical needs to Mayor Bloomberg to ask for the City’s help.  

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