Bill de Blasio in 2008-2011 Mayoral State of the City addresses


On Crime: Fewer and fewer arrests, and crime goes down and down

The NYPD has pushed crime to record lows, with the fewest homicides since 1951. Neighborhood policing is now the reality in this city, and it works. I want to be blunt about this. For years, there was a conventional wisdom in this town, and it said that you can only arrest your way to a safer city. Guess what? Conventional wisdom was wrong.

This is an amazing fact I'm going to tell you. Last year, the NYPD made 140,000 fewer arrests than the year we took office. Fewer and fewer arrests, and crime goes down and down. That's something to thank the NYPD for.

And the NYPD of today understands that that important work is done with the community, with community leaders, with civic leaders, with people on the ground who helped to do the work, the tenant patrols, the community patrols, and a crucial part of the equation -- the Cure Violence Movement, the Crisis Management System.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Crime: The era of mass incarceration has ended in NYC

Conventional wisdom used to say that you can only imprison your way to a safer city. Wrong again.

Today the population in our Corrections system has dropped to less than 8,000 people for the first time in almost 40 years. The era of mass incarceration did not begin in New York City, but it will end in New York City. And we are getting closer every single day to that great day when we will close Rikers Island for good.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Drugs: Sue Big Pharma for opioid addiction; open overdose centers

We're not afraid in this town to take on the big corporations. So we sued the big pharmaceutical companies for peddling addiction, for helping to create the opioid crisis.

We're going to fight to get the resources we deserve back from those companies, so we can help New Yorkers. But nonetheless, with the tools at hand today, we're stemming the tide of overdose deaths. We are opening overdose prevention centers anyway. Because there is no wrong way to save lives.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Education: 75% of kids graduated High School; 59% went on to college

We set the all-time record for graduation rate in NYC. Today, three quarters of our kids graduate high school on time.

I want to put that in perspective for you. That number was less than 50% not long ago in this town. Less than 50% graduated on time before we had mayoral control of education, which created real accountability.

And here's something else we should be proud of: 59% of kids who graduated our public schools went on to higher education last year--another all-time record.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Divest $5B from Big Oil; invest in renewable energy

We took on Big Oil. We're divesting $5 billion of our workers' hard-earned retirement savings, taking that $5 billion out of the fossil fuel companies that are destroying this planet. And we're putting billions where it belongs--into renewable energy that will save us all.
Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Environment: Ban Styrofoam in NYC; plastic straws are next

Every single day we're becoming a more sustainable city because we have to protect the future of our children and our grandchildren. We had to do something that demanded a fight. We had to fight to ban Styrofoam in this city.

Some people said to me it's going to be a fight. It's going mean taking on big business. Well, we took on big business. They sued us. And we won in court. And now Styrofoam is banned in New York City. And let's ban plastic bags and plastic straws while we're at it.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Families & Children: Enforce paid sick leave for temp workers

We know that the people working the hardest often earn the least, and have the fewest protections. In this city, nannies, home health aides, housekeepers, drivers, freelancers--more than 200,000 New Yorkers--receive no benefits at all, and have no security. These are the people who keep this city running. And in return, they get the short end of the stick.

And that's why, today, I am expanding the mission, and in fact, the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs. It will now be the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

They'll continue to enforce City laws like paid sick leave and will undertake a new mandate--to protect the most vulnerable workers in our economy. When a home health care aid--when their pay is withheld or any worker is mistreated, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection will intervene. Whether you're an employee or a temp, whether you're paid by check or cash, whether you're documented or not, if you work in NYC, then we will work for you.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Families & Children: Mandated up to ten days of Paid Personal Time every year

Hardworking people every day at big box retailers, at non-union hotels, and yes, even in corporate offices--I'm talking about the half-million New Yorkers who can't take so much as a single day off, not one, to be there when their child needs them or to gather with their family for a wedding or just to take care of themselves. We all need to recharge sometimes, don't we? Our health depends on it. And the facts prove it. Employees who get regular time off have fewer health problems, they suffer fewer injuries, they make fewer mistakes, and their productivity goes up. That's why literally every other industrialized country on Earth gives workers the fundamental right of paid vacation. Literally not a single city or state in this country provides this right. This will be the first time, right now. New York City will become the first city in the nation to mandate Paid Personal Time for all our workers. Full-time or part-time, you will earn up to ten days of Paid Personal Time every year.
Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Government Reform: Let's get Big Money out of politics

I laid out ways to strengthen our local democracy and protect our rights. We won ballot measures that expand participatory budgeting, and thank you to the Council for leading the way and innovating that extraordinary new process.

And the people spoke loud & clear in November. They said, let's get Big Money out of politics. So from now on in NYC, every day people will be able to run for office without ever having to talk to a single big donor. They'll be able to win elections with grassroots dollars.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Government Reform: Same-day registration and no-excuse vote by mail

We have to make this the year we pass fundamental reforms in our democracy. We've got to make it easy for people to participate, easy to vote. Voting should be something people want to do, not something that feels impossible.

This year, we can pass early voting and same-day registration and no-excuse vote by mail. Instead of being the hardest state to cast a vote in, how about we become the easiest state to cast a vote in?

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Health Care: Health care is a human right; fight for single-payer

It all starts with health care. Somehow, in the richest city on earth, we have diabetics rationing their insulin. And women who have never had a pap smear. People whose preventable health problems turn into catastrophic ones that end up in an emergency room and an astronomical bill. Now, thank God Obamacare has driven down the number of uninsured Americans to record lows. But 600,000 New Yorkers still don't have insurance--600,000 people. My fellow New Yorkers, we're going to fix that, for a very simple reason--we believe health care is a human right.

Now, we want people to get it right all over the country. So we need to say yes to Medicare For All in Washington. We need to say yes to single payer in Albany.

But until they say yes back, New York City will lead the way. We will literally guarantee health care for every single New Yorker.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Health Care: MetroPlus: public option for every single New Yorker

We will guarantee health care for every single New Yorker. Let me tell you how it works. If you don't have insurance, it's going to be simple. If you're eligible, we'll get you enrolled in the City's public option, MetroPlus and get you a doctor.

We'll get you a doctor at one of our 70 public health centers. And if you're not eligible, like hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, including our undocumented neighbors, we'll take care of you too. It's the right thing to do.

Now, remember, our public hospitals already treat anyone who walks into an emergency room. But an emergency room is no replacement for comprehensive health care. So this year, Health + Hospitals will launch NYC Care, a sweeping package of health services guaranteed on an affordable sliding scale to anyone without insurance. And this is quality care: you'll be able to make an appointment, just like someone who has insurance, to see a primary care doctor, or a pediatrician--whatever you need, it will be there.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Immigration: Fight the inhumane detention of children at the border

We didn't just sit still and watch what Donald Trump was doing to our city and to the rest of this country. We took him on. We sent lawyers to the border to fight the inhumane detention of children.

Remember early in his administration when Trump tried to force us to ask New Yorkers their immigration status? And he thought he had us, because he threatened to block our law enforcement funding, the very money we use to keep New Yorkers safe. Guess what happened? We took him to court and we won.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Tax Reform: Fight the agenda of Trump tax giveaway to the wealthy

Millions of people in this city, tens of millions across the country, are boxed in to lives that just aren't working for them. You haven't been paid what you deserve for all the hard work. You haven't been given the time you deserve. You're not living the life you deserve. And here is the cold, hard truth--it's no accident. It's an agenda. An agenda that's dominated our politics from Reaganomics to the Trump tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations. For decades. For decades, working people have done their share. For decades, working people have gotten more and more productive. At the same time, they've gotten a smaller and smaller share of the wealth they create. Here's the truth. Brothers and sisters, there's plenty of money in the world. There's plenty of money in this city. It's just in the wrong hands.
Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Technology: Create premiere tech hubs, and create 4.5M jobs

After years of laying the groundwork, our technology community, our tech community reached a turning point. New York City is now one of the world's premiere tech hubs, and all those jobs are now here for the people of New York City.

The major new announcements from Amazon and Google show that the world's most innovative companies want to be here, and they want to hire New Yorkers.

Now, we have over 4.5 million jobs in this city, for the first time in history. Unemployment at a record low, wages rising. Now, all this has happened in a progressive city. All this has happened in a city that made sure there was fairness. So anyone who tells you that there can't be job growth when we ask for fairness--we're going to prove them wrong here in New York City. This is a city where we expanded paid sick days to half a million more New Yorkers. This is a city where we require businesses to provide a fair workweek to more than 300,000 people. Where we fought and won a $15 minimum wage.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

On Welfare & Poverty: More affordable housing than ever, and fewer homeless

In 2018 we built and protected more affordable apartments than ever. The most since our Housing Department was founded. The City Council played a crucial role by passing the Access to Counsel Law, which has made such a difference--tens of thousands of tenants now have their own lawyers, lawyers paid for by the City who stop illegal evictions.

We're also showing public housing residents that we can begin to reverse decades of disinvestment and make their lives better. The NYC Housing Authority has a plan to bring brand new everything to 175,000 NYCHA residents, from new roofs to new kitchens and bathrooms.

We still grapple with too many people in this town who need our help because they're homeless. We moved more than 2,000 homeless New Yorkers off the streets and into a permanent situation where they can be taken care of and they can get the help they need. And we closed more than 180 shelters that didn't meet our standards for health and safety, and we will close more.

Source: 2019 State of the City address Jan 10, 2019

The above quotations are from 2008-2011 Mayoral State of the City addresses.
Click here for other excerpts from 2008-2011 Mayoral State of the City addresses.
Click here for other excerpts by Bill de Blasio.
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Page last updated: May 20, 2019