State Of The City: De Blasio Outlines Areas For Improvement In New York City

WCBS 880 Newsroom
February 06, 2020 - 6:22 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio outlines five areas where he believes New York City needs to improve during his seventh State of the City speech Thursday afternoon.

The mayor, speaking to a crowd at the American Museum of Natural History, used his annual address to lay out blueprints for improvement rather than tout accomplishments – because he believes New York City is facing a number of problems.

“We need a plan to save our city because that's where we are right now. We're at a point where we have to be saved,” Mayor de Blasio said. “This city and everything it stands for must be saved and we are the ones who have to save ourselves.”

First on the agenda was the mayor’s promise to cut small business fine in half to prevent more mom-and-pop shops from shuttering throughout the five boroughs.

Meanwhile, to create affordable housing, de Blasio said he wants to change housing and zoning laws to legalize basement apartments and pledging $150 million in loans to help. He notes that the plan will hopefully provide housing for thousands of struggling New Yorkers.

The mayor also is seeking to combat teenage crime by building and revamping community centers throughout the five boroughs, to give teenagers an alternative.

“Dozens and dozens of our parks, recreation centers – we're going to open them up. More hours, more days and, for young adults, we're going to make their memberships free,” de Blasio said.

In his address, the mayor also returned to one of the most successful policies that his administration has rolled out: 3-K for All.

De Blasio highlighted the program’s success and pledged another expansion. During the 2020-2021 school year, the mayor has promised the program will serve 26,000 children citywide.

Lastly, after announcing a green energy plan in 2019, de Blasio says his administration will tackle climate change aggressively in 2020.

He plans to double down on investigating in a port to provide wind power and create greater incentives for New Yorkers to switch to solar power.

Meanwhile, more plastic bans might be on the way.

“The first thing we have to do is end the use of plastic bottles,” de Blasio said. “We're not gonna buy anymore, the city of New York is gonna stop buying them, we're not going to allow them on city property anymore. They are made of fossil fuels, they are hurting the earth.”

De Blasio also used his speech to issue an executive order to make all of the city’s vehicles electric.