Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicks-off the Open Society Foundation's Innovation and Impact Forum for Black Male Achievement.
MC and Host: Susan L. Taylor, National CARES Mentoring Movement
Introduction by Christopher Stone, Open Society Foundations
Opening Remarks by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City of New York
Michael R. Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He was first elected in November 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, a
time when many believed that crime would return, businesses would flee, and New York might never recover. Instead, through hundreds of innovative new policies and initiatives, Mayor Bloomberg has made New York City safer, stronger, and greener than ever.
Today, compared to 2001, crime is down
35 percent. The welfare rolls are down 25 percent. High School graduation rates are up 27 percent. Ambulance response times are at record lows. Teen smoking is down more than 50 percent. More than 600 acres of new parkland have been added. And the City has weathered the national recession in much better shape than most places, far outpacing the nation in job growth in 2010.
Born on February 14, 1942 in Boston and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Massachusetts, Michael Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking loans and working as a parking lot attendant. After college, he went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1966, he was hired by a Wall Street firm, Salomon Brothers, for an entry-level job.
He quickly rose through the ranks at Salomon, overseeing equity trading and sales before heading up the firm’s information systems. When Salomon was acquired in 1981, he was let go from the firm. With a vision of an information company that would use emerging technology to bring transparency and efficiency to the buyers and sellers of financial securities, he launched a small startup company called Bloomberg LP. Today, Bloomberg LP has over 300,000 subscribers to its financial news and information service in over 160 countries around the globe. Headquartered in New York City, the company has about 13,000 employees worldwide. As his company grew, Michael Bloomberg started directing more of his attention to philanthropy, donating his time and resources to many different causes. He has sat on the boards of numerous charitable, cultural, and educational institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, where, as chairman of the board, he helped build the Bloomberg School of Public Health into one of the world’s leading institutions of public health research and training. Already deeply involved in civic afairs, he officially entered public life in 2001, when he entered the race for Mayor of the City of New York. After entering City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg won control of New York City’s broken public school system and turned it around by raising standards, promoting innovation, and holding schools accountable for success. He spurred economic growth and job creation by revitalizing old industrial areas and strengthening key industries, including new media, film and television, bio-science, technology, and higher education. The Mayor’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan helped bring the City through the national recession as quickly as possible and helped avoid the level of job losses that many experts had forecast and that other cities experienced. He has also launched programs that encourage entrepreneurship, combat poverty, and help people acquire the skills they need to build careers.
His passion for public health has led to ambitious new health strategies that have become national models, including a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, as well as parks and beaches. Today, life expectancy is 19 months longer than it was before Mayor Bloomberg took office. His belief that America’s mayors and business leaders can help effect change in Washington has led him to launch national bi-partisan coalitions to combat illegal guns, reform immigration, and invest in infrastructure. He also created a far-reaching plan allowing New York City to fight climate change and promote sustainable development on an unprecedented scale. In acknowledgement of his leadership on these issues, Bloomberg was recently named Chair of the C40 Cities Global Climate Initiative. And he has been an equally strong champion of the City’s arts and cultural institutions, expanding support for them and helping to bring more than 80 public art projects to all five boroughs.
Mayor Bloomberg is the father of two daughters, Emma and Georgina.
Professor Ifill is nationally recognized as an advocate in the areas of civil rights, voting rights, judicial diversity and judicial decision-making. She teaches Civil Procedure, Legal Writing, and a seminar on Reparations, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice. Professor Ifill has also taught Constitutional Law, Environmental Justice, Complex Litigation, as well as seminars on Voting Rights, Equal Protection, and Judicial Decisionmaking. Professor Ifill co-founded with Professor Michael Pinard the Reentry of Ex-Ofenders Clinic.
Professor Ifill writes about the importance of judicial diversity and impartiality in judicial decision-making. Her articles about race, judging and judicial selection have led to Professor Ifill’s recognition as an expert on these subjects. She has appeared on NBC Nightly News as well as local network news broadcasts as a consultant and expert during recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Professor Ifill also writes about the history of racial violence and contemporary reconciliation eforts. Her book about truth and reconciliation commissions for lynching entitled, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century was released by Beacon Books in February 2007.
Prior to joining the Faculty in 1993, Professor Ifill served as an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in New York, where she litigated voting rights cases, including Houston Lawyers’ Association v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court held that judicial elections are subject to the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. During her tenure at Maryland law school, Professor Ifill has continued to litigate and consult on cases on behalf of low-income and minority communities.
Professor Ifill is a frequent guest on The Marc Steiner Show, a public afairs program on WYPR, the Baltimore NPR afliate, where she talks about race and the law, and her op-ed articles often appear in the Baltimore Sun, Jurist, and the AFRO American newspapers. As a voting rights expert, Professor Ifill appeared regularly as the election expert on BET News with Ed Gordon during the contested November 2000 presidential election, and continues to serve as a political and election analyst on local television and radio programs.
Professor Ifill serves as the board chair of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations and serves on the board of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore City. She is a member and Co-Director of the Children’s Choir at Mt. Calvary African Methodist Episcopal Church in Towson, Maryland.
Christopher Stone is the president of the Open Society Foundations. He is an international expert on criminal justice reform and on the leadership and
governance of nonprofits.
Prior to joining Open Society as president in July 2012, he was the Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Before that,
Stone spent a decade as director of the Vera Institute of Justice. He founded the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and served as a founding director of the New York State Capital Defender Ofce and of the Altus Global Alliance.
Stone received his BA from Harvard, an MPhil in criminology from the University of Cambridge, and his JD from Yale Law School. He was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire for his contributions to criminal justice reform in the United Kingdom.
Susan L. Taylor
Susan Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built as its chief editor for nearly three decades. A legend in the magazine publishing world, her focus and passion today is the National CARES Mentoring Movement, a call to action, which she founded in 2005 as Essence CARES. The CARES mentoring movement is a massive campaign to recruit able adults to help secure the many Black children who are in peril and losing ground. The goals of National CARES are to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of our young. Susan Taylor is a native of Harlem. She received a bachelor of science degree from Fordham University.