THE MAYOR'S MESSAGE
By Michael Bloomberg
MAKING GOVERNMENT MORE ACCOUNTABLE
I’ve always believed that when you make a promise, you keep a promise. That’s why our Administration has kept track of every proposal we put forward when I ran for Mayor in 2001. And it’s why, two weeks ago—for the second time since taking office—we published a Campaign Accountability Report showing our progress on turning the ideas we campaigned on into realities. It’s our way of letting the voters know what we have accomplished, and what we we’re still working on.
During the campaign, we put forward 381 proposals, large and small—from reducing crime and building affordable housing, to increasing senior citizen programming on NYC-TV and protecting community gardens. In the 30 months since we took office, 196 of those 381 campaign proposals have been fully implemented, and another 130 are currently being launched—which means that 86% of our promises to the voters are on their way to being fulfilled.>p>In recent months, we’ve made major headway in implementing many of our most important campaign proposals. In contracts with unions representing 138,000 City workers, we have, for example, established the principle that raises have to be linked to savings in the way that City agencies operate. That’s crucial for the City’s long-term financial health. By September, we’ll have implemented another of our campaign ideas by turning unnecessary office space in public schools into classrooms with 9,000 seats—the equivalent of 15 new schools that would have cost more than a half-billion dollars to build. We’ve also launched “311,” the Citizen Service Hotline, and it’s been a resounding success. Since March 2003, New Yorkers have made nearly ten million calls to 311 to get questions answered, and to report problems like broken streetlights and leaking fire hydrants. 311 is a big reason why our Administration has been able to improve the quality of life in all five boroughs.
The current report also describes the 25 proposals that we made during the campaign that we’ve since reconsidered and decided not to put into action. That includes our pledge not to raise taxes. The crushing fiscal crisis created by 9/11 and the national economic recession forced us to ask New Yorkers to dig deeper into their pockets to protect essential services. But now the economy is coming back. So we’ve adopted a City budget that provides a $400 property tax rebate that would, in most cases, offset the property tax increase homeowners had to pay, and also an Earned Income Tax Credit for those making less than $30,000 a year.
We take all our campaign promises seriously. It’s why we’ve published our Campaign Accountability Report, and why we urge other elected officials to follow suit. A little more accountability would make political campaigns more honest and realistic, make government more effective, and restore faith in a system that sorely needs it.
Our Campaign Accountability Report can be obtained or viewed on-line at www.nyc.gov/campaignpromises. Or, if you’re a New York City resident, call 311, and we’ll be glad to send you a copy.