State of the City – 2019

Delivering the 2019 State of the City Address

I just finished delivering my 2019 State of the City Address to an overflow audience at City Hall.

My remarks highlighted our community’s significant and exciting progress on a range of economic, environmental, and social priorities, while also acknowledging persistent challenges that require our continued attention and focus.  The State of our City is the strongest it has been in my lifetime, but it can be stronger still. Please read the whole speech by downloading the text as a PDF or by copying this address into your browser:

https://www.noambramson.org/uploads/2019/03/SOTC-2019-Final.pd

Or for a more concise — albeit less coherent — version, check out this word cloud.

Video should be posted shortly, and I will share it when available.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the video.

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State of the City on March 20th — Please Join Us

Click to enlarge

Please join me for the annual State of the City Address on Wednesday, March 20th at City Hall.  The evening begins with a networking reception at 6:00pm, followed by the speech at 7:30pm.  The event is free and open to the public. There’s more in this flyer.  Hope to see you there!

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Watch My LWV Interview

Please watch my half-hour interview with Tamar Tait of the League of Women Voters. We talked about New Rochelle’s history, our downtown plans, infrastructure investments, the public school system, the new State Senate majority, and much more. A good conversation about our community’s past, present, and future. If you find the conversation informative, please also share the link with friends.

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The Con Ed Gas Moratorium

Con Ed’s unexpected announcement of a moratorium on new natural gas service poses potentially serious challenges to economic development throughout Westchester. I remain confident, however, that through collaboration with regional partners in government, common-sense flexibility from the utility, and, potentially, State assistance for alternative energy options, we can implement practical solutions. Earlier today, I participated in a press conference on this subject. My comments start at 16:05 and at 33:05. I thank County Executive George Latimer for his strong leadership on this important priority.

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Season’s Greetings!

Catie and I are making the switch this year from printed holiday cards to an e-card.  A lot less paper, so a little more green, but the same sincere good wishes from our whole family.  May the season bring you joy and may 2019 be a year of peace, health and happiness.

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Another Big Win for New Rochelle

Testing out virtual reality at the New Rochelle Street Fair.

New Rochelle was just awarded a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies through the “Mayors Challenge.”  We are one of only nine cities throughout the nation — out of more than 300 competitors — to win this award.

Bloomberg recognized New Rochelle for our innovative use of augmented and virtual reality to help guide community development.  We’ll now utilize the grant to develop an interactive, open source application that will empower residents to better visualize and shape the city’s growth.  This tool aims to enhance both the quality and inclusiveness of public input — and could even make the planning process fun.

I thank and congratulate the Business Improvement District and IDEA New Rochelle, who partnered with the City’s Department of Development on this initiative.  Great job.

With this terrific news, New Rochelle is really on a roll.  After all, it was just a few weeks ago that we won the coveted Downtown Revitalization Initiative from New York State.  Now another big, big win.  It’s thrilling.

There’s more here, and a full press release follows below.

 

New Rochelle Wins $1 Million in Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge

New Rochelle is One of Nine Cities Recognized for Innovative Solutions to Urgent Local Issues

New Rochelle, NY- October 29, 2018: Michael R. Bloomberg today announced New Rochelle as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge, a yearlong competition that challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities today. Nine cities will receive $1 million to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity.

New Rochelle was selected as a winner for their innovative approach to improving citizen engagement through the use of immersive technology (ie. virtual reality and augmented reality) to clearly present development plans for new buildings and public spaces to New Rochelle residents- a process all too often steered by private developers. By developing their own advanced tools, the City and its stakeholders will be able to efficiently envision and evaluate options.

“The Mayors Challenge has inspired our entire team to be more creative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.  “Our community will benefit enormously, not only from interactive tools that will help shape the most ambitious growth in our history, but also from the spirit of service and commitment to excellence that has been the hallmark of our interactions with Bloomberg Philanthropies.”

New Rochelle joins Denver, CO, Durham, NC, Fort Collins, CO, Georgetown, TX, Huntington, WV, Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia, PA, and South Bend, IN as winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge.

“Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big – and achievable – new ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City. “Congratulations to all of the winning mayors, who represent cities large and small, in regions across the country. We look forward to seeing the results of their work — and to helping the ideas that prove most effective spread far and wide.”

The Mayors Challenge Selection Committee, co-chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns, is comprised of distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives, and social innovation leaders. The committee evaluated the cities applications based on their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities to choose New Rochelle as among the nine winning cities.

New to the Mayors Challenge this year was a 6-month “test and learn” phase where each of the 35 Champion Cities received up to $100,000 and technical assistance to test and build support for their ideas. Cities tested core components of their ideas with residents, improved and refined their proposals, and developed a plan for implementation and impact measurement.

“Thanks to the stimulating opportunity from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its Champion City competition, our Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) was able to assemble a diverse team of creative technologists, artists, planners, public officials, business people and community members to pursue using augmented and virtual reality technology for better communication between government and its residents,” said BID Executive Director Ralph DiBart. “We are grateful that IDEA New Rochelle will now be able to continue this work and develop an app and toolkit which will allow communities across the Country to access the power of these new immersive technologies to advance the ways that government can engage all its citizens in meaningful dialogue about planning the future of their community.”

The U.S. Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). Previous Mayors Challenge winners include São Paulo, Brazil with a program to increase farmers’ income and reduce urban sprawl; Barcelona, Spain for work to create digital trust networks that support at-risk elderly citizens; and Providence, RI, for a program to measure and reduce the “word gap” among low-income children during pivotal brain development years. For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.

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