New York City's Bloomberg to Use Own Money to Aid Minority Youth

Analysis

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New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg at press conference

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is taking a social problem in to his own hands. Literally.

Bloomberg intends to spend nearly $127 million on new innovative measures to improve the lives of thousands of young black and Latino men, who are cut off from New York City's civic, educational, and economic life.

How's the city going to pay for it? Bloomberg intends to pay for about one-quarter of the program himself -- or a $30 million contribution, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The program -- the biggest social policy revamp of Bloomberg's third term -- will overhaul how the city's government interacts with a population of about 315,000 New Yorkers who comprise a disproportionate share of the undereducated, incarcerated, and unemployed. The program will focus on men ages 18 to 24.

Mentoring and literacy services will receive about $18 million, schools about $24 million with the latter aimed at narrowing the achievement gap in high-school graduation.

What's more, Bloomberg's private contribution is expected to be matched by $30 million from hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist George Soros.

Prior to being elected mayor of New York City, Bloomberg founded and directed Bloomberg LLP, a financial news and information company based in New York.

Political/Public Policy Analysis: A gold star and three cheers for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who, in his third term is continuing to demonstrate that he is worth is $1 per year salary.

An austerity-oriented Congress led by the Tea Party faction may be moving away from improving the social safety net, but the social needs of the nation's underprivileged, marginalized, and most vulnerable remain enormous. Bloomberg clearly understands this reality better than the current Congress, and has taken the initiative to address a major concern.

 

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