All Articles Tagged "mayor bloomberg"
Last Monday, the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg unveiled a rather controversial teen pregnancy ad campaign. The ads have since popped up in subways and bus shelters around New York City. Depicted in the advertisements are photos of toddlers, accompanied by different messages and statistics that are intended to discourage teen pregnancy. According to the campaign’s press release, the Mayor announced the campaign and discussed its initiatives during one of his weekly Sunday radio addresses.
“This campaign makes very clear to young people that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to deciding to raise a child. We’ve already seen important progress in our effort to help more teens delay pregnancy – teen pregnancy has steadily declined in New York City – but there is more work still to be done. We aim to build on our success by asking teens to take an honest look at some of the realities of parenthood they may not have considered. By focusing on responsibility and the importance of education, employment, and family in providing children with the emotional and financial support they need, we’ll let thousands of young New Yorkers know that waiting to becoming a parent could be the best decision they ever make”, said Mayor Bloomberg of the campaign.
Since its unveiling, the Mayor and his administration have received much backlash over the controversial ads, as many found them to be offensive and shaming to teen parents and their children. Sexual and reproductive health organization, Planned Parenthood wasted no time speaking out against the campaign, reports the New York Daily News.
“The latest NYC ad campaign creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people,” expressed Haydee Morales, V.P. of Planned Parenthood of New York City in an issued statement.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry also had a few choice words for Bloomberg regarding his latest campaign. In a recent episode of Melissa Harris-Perry the political commentator expressed that she certainly agreed that teens having children could make life rather difficult, but went on to read a letter addressed to the Mayor. In the letter she critiqued him for spending $400,000 of the city’s money on such a campaign at a time when teen pregnancy rates are at a historic low. She also addressed why his campaign is shaming to teen parents. An excerpt of that letter reads:
Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg,“It’s me, Melissa. What happened? You have an enviable track record of supporting reproductive rights and advocating for common sense proven strategies that reduce unwanted and unplanned teen pregnancy… And the city’s teen pregnancy rate has declined more than 27% in the last decade. Good job. But this week, these troubling posters began appearing all around the city. Each one featuring a well-fed, gorgeous, but obviously distressed toddler who is spewing questionably interpreted data and plenty of social shame to his or her mythical parent…”
She went on to blast the ads individually. She criticized one for piggybacking onto society’s message that Black women are disposable and unwanted. Perry also expressed that the misleading statistics utilized in the campaign have the potential to lead many to unfairly blame teen mothers for America’s poverty crisis and that the ads have left her speechless.
Check out footage of Melissa Harris-Perry reading her letter in its entirety on the next page. What do you think of Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign?
On March 12th the Bloomberg administration’s new soda regulations will hit New York City. Under the first-of-its-kind soft drink prohibition meant to fight obesity, restaurants and mobile food carts can’t sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces and after a three-month grace period, the city will fine violators $200 per sale. This legislation, approved by the Board of Health last year, does not impact convenience and grocery stores.
Some business owners are taking to action quickly, investing in new cups and glasses to comply. Dunkin’ Donuts has started posting signs to educate customers. Others are holding out to the last minute to see if the law will be postponed or overturned based on a lawsuit filed in October by a number of groups, including the American Beverage Association, National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, the National Restaurant Association. That has yet to be ruled upon.
Although the Department of Health sent out a sheet of frequently asked questions to 24,000 food service establishments and encouraged them to call 311 with questions. A week before the ban many are still confused about all the rules and how strictly they will be enforced.
Many restaurant owners are in disbelief. Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Josh Lebowitz said, “All of our sodas were in large glasses, it just seemed appropriate. We tend to serve everything oversized. It’s a little bit funny that it’s actually happening, I never thought this would be legislated.”
First Lady Michelle Obama has come under some criticism by those who think the government has overstepped with its efforts to combat obesity. What do you think of the coming soda ban? If you’re not in NYC, is this something that you would like to see where you live? Word is that some candidates for city council in Washington DC would like to see a similar ban there.
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Black businesses in New York City have received a much-needed boost. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council have removed various barriers for minority- and women-owned business enterprises by signing into law Introduction 911-A, which will expand city contracts.
This will help small businesses, especially minority- and women-owned firms, as the new law eliminates the $1 million cap on programs eligible for contracts set forth by Local Law 129 signed in 2005. That law was meant to boost opportunities for black and women-owned businesses. It also calls for increased city procurement contracts in areas of goods, professional services, construction, standard services, and architectural and engineering services.
This move is similar to efforts made in Chicago. As we reported in October, black businesses in the Windy City were awarded more city contracts in recent months — 21 percent this year up from just eight percent last year.
If the push in the Big Apple goes as expected, black businesses in the city should see a significant boost. According to a press release, the new law “is estimated to triple the total value of contracts from $433 million to a projected $2.2 billion.”
The city is also planning to track the effort to ensue that progress is being made. There will be a tracking system for contracts in order to weed out non-compliant M/WBE (minority and women business enterprise) firms. An accountability program, states the press release, will include mandatory meetings for agency leaders to assess progress on the M/WBE goals and efforts to increase participation.
The Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff , first VP of 100 Black Men and co-chair of The New Agenda, said in a press statement, “Local Law 911-A marks a bold step for the rights of minority- and women-owned businesses.”
Nationally, according to TheStreet.com, the government has missed its stated 23 percent goals for small business contracts, especially for women-owned companies, for the past six years. New legislation signed on the 3rd by President Obama hopes to boost that. If you’re a small business owner, check out the details for being considered in that story.