Mike Bloomberg on Welfare & Poverty

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


Greenwood Initiative: a million more homes in black hands

Do you know where Greenwood, Oklahoma is? It's a town right by Tulsa., Oklahoma. Maybe three months ago I heard about this and then went over to see it, and then gave an economic plan in Greenwood. Greenwood, for those of you that don't know, was called "Black Wall Street." It had nothing to do with finance, so I don't know where that name came from, but it was a wealthy African American community just outside of Tulsa.

In 1921 there was a group of white thugs who came through in the middle of the night, burnt the town to the ground and killed 200 people. That's what happened there. I mean there's been terrible things going on in this country.

In Jackson, Mississippi, there is a memorial to the 4,000 African Americans who were lynched in this country. We've done some terrible things. Hopefully those will never happen again. I have a plan coming out of the Greenwood--called the Greenwood initia

Source: CNN S. C. Town Hall for 2020 Presidential primary , Feb 26, 2020

More African-American home ownership; study reparations

Q: Do you have any reparation plans for the descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

BLOOMBERG: I've agreed to a study on reparations--I was asked to sign on to that. I said fine. My personal opinion is the first thing we have to do is focus on education, because you are never going to fix poverty unless you do something. And if you take a look, the average black family in America has only 1/10 the wealth of the average white family. Just think about that number, 90 percent less. We have to do something about that. And so I've focused on creating jobs and improving education. I have a plan coming out of the Greenwood--called the Greenwood initiative to--our objective is to have a million more homes in black hands over next 10 years to--yes, so it's a good idea. Thank you.

Source: CNN S. C. Town Hall for 2020 Presidential primary , Feb 26, 2020

Put more bank branches in minority neighborhoods

The other thing I'm working on is to try to get banks to put branches in minority neighborhoods. Because if you don't have a branch bank you can't really have a checking account. If you don't have a checking account you can't get a mortgage. If you don't have a mortgage you can't own a house. And most Americans wealth is tied up in their houses. It starts with little things like not having branch banking in all of these neighborhoods.
Source: CNN S.C. Town Hall on eve of 2020 primary , Feb 26, 2020

I fought against red-lining in communities

Sen. Elizabeth WARREN: While Mayor Bloomberg was blaming the housing crash of 2008 on African-Americans and on Latinos, in fact, I was out there fighting for a consumer agency to make sure people never get cheated again on their mortgages.

Q: In addition, Senator Warren on Twitter called you a liar and a borderline racist because of what you said about red-lining.

BLOOMBERG: Unfortunately, she's misinformed on red-lining. You can go back and look at the record. I fought against it before the crisis in '08, during '08, and after that. Red-lining is not the problem with the mortgage market, but it was a problem for the communities where it was done, and we stopped that.

Q: Did it work in NYC?

BLOOMBERG: When you're talking about affordable housing, we created 175,000 units of affordable housing in New York City. You have to learn how to work with both sides of the aisle and then you can get stuff done.

Source: 10th Democratic Primary debate on eve of S.C. primary , Feb 25, 2020

Create 1 million new black homeowners

Mike's plan lays out a path for the creation of 1 million new Black homeowners by providing down-payment assistance, getting millions banked and recognized by credit scoring companies, enforcing fair lending laws, reducing foreclosures and evictions and increasing the supply of affordable housing.

Mike will increase the supply of affordable housing units nationally--lowering costs for middle and low-income residents. He will expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and enhance its value. He will prioritize new transportation funding for areas that have undertaken progressive zoning reform and reward municipalities that support affordable housing development in neighborhoods with good schools, transportation, and economic opportunity.

Mike will make homelessness a national priority--and double federal spending on homelessness from under $3 billion to $6 billion annually.

Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeBloomberg.com , Jan 20, 2020

Mayors Challenge: grants to cities for improving urban life

Bloomberg has cited Venezuela's economic collapse as a cautionary tale about socialism in his criticisms of the economic policy proposals of fellow Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a Mayors Challenge program in Latin America and the Caribbean, which issues grants to cities with innovative ideas for improving urban life.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary , Dec 24, 2019

Created or preserved 175,000 affordable homes

Mike Bloomberg worked to improve life in NYC neighborhoods across the five boroughs. In 2013, NYC had the largest affordable housing program in the nation. NYC added more than 850 acres of new parkland, created or preserved 175,000 affordable homes, and funded more than 100 public art installations across the five boroughs.
Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeBloomberg.com , Nov 9, 2019

Expand the earned income tax credit to raise real wages

The largest economic challenges we face include a skills crisis that our public schools are not addressing, crumbling infrastructure that imperils our global competitiveness, wage stagnation coupled with growing wealth inequality, and rising deficits that will worsen as more baby boomers retire.

The tax bill [passed by Congressional Republicans and signed by President Trump in December 2017] does nothing to address these challenges. In fact, it makes each of them worse.

INEQUALITY: If Congress wanted to raise real wages and reward work, there is a simple and proven way to do it: expand the earned income tax credit. Instead, it seems to believe that lower corporate tax rates will magically lead to higher wages, which fundamentally misunderstands how labor markets work.

Source: OpEd by Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg News , Dec 15, 2017

Count poverty based on all costs, minus welfare assistance

The Bloomberg administration, frustrated by the federal government’s method of determining who is poor, is developing its own measure, which city officials say will offer a more modern and accurate picture of poverty. The 42-year-old federal poverty standard, which is pegged to the annual cost of buying basic groceries, is widely viewed as outdated and off-target. The city’s formula would take into account the money families must spend annually on necessities including rent, utilities and child care But it would also factor in the value of financial assistance received, like housing vouchers or food stamps.

NYC’s adoption of a new calculus, which skeptics predict is certain to conclude that there are more poor here than previously counted, could be met with opposition from other areas around the country, if the city uses the new measure to argue that it deserves more federal aid. But city officials say their efforts are driven by Mayor Bloomberg’s second-term pledge to reduce poverty.

Source: Leslie Kaufman, New York Times on 2008 election , Dec 30, 2007

Opportunity NYC: cash transfer to break cycle of poverty

Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Toluca, Mexico today for a site visit in support of his recently-launched Opportunity NYC, the nation’s first-ever conditional cash transfer pilot program designed to help New Yorkers break the cycle of poverty. “New Yorkers recognize the power of a good idea, and Toluca’s Oportunidades program is one idea that works,” said Mayor Bloomberg. Both programs focus on helping families invest in improving the health, education and nutrition of their children.
Source: Press release, “Visit Mexico’s ‘Oportunidades’ Program” , Apr 23, 2007

Instituted $7.5B municipal affordable housing plan

Mayor Bloomberg today announced a major milestone in the New Housing Marketplace Plan: 55,000 units of affordable housing have now been funded, one-third of the 165,000 unit plan. The $7.5 billion plan is the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history. “The City is on track to reach our goal of creating enough affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers, more than the entire population of Atlanta,” said Bloomberg. “NYC is building much-needed housing for our growing population.”
Source: Press release, “Affordable Housing Plan” , Mar 13, 2007

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Other big-city mayors on Welfare & Poverty: Mike Bloomberg on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 25, 2021