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.
An outspoken national commentator on civil rights issues, Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and member of the OSI-Baltimore Board and the Open Society Foundations' U. S. Programs Board, will discuss the opportunity for equity and justice to become a reality.
An public intellectual and international expert on criminal justice reform and on nonprofit leadership, Chris Stone is president of the Open Society Foundations. He'll explore how Baltimore can share successful solutions and obstinate challenges with other cities in the U.S. and the world, to be part of a tidal wave of change for opportunity and justice.
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.