Media Mogul Earmarks Millions For Urban Projects
MIAMI BEACH, FL - Former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, came to Miami Beach today to announce his American Cities Initiative – a $200 million-dollar investment project spanning the country’s largest urban areas. The plan seeks to promote strengthening of City Halls across the nation, including a $600,000 grant to bolster media coverage of municipal government efforts. The enterprise will also focus on stimulating the arts in local communities through different ventures that encourage creative endeavors in our cities.
The billionaire made his announcement in front of hundreds of Mayors from around the country during the Inaugural Luncheon at the 85th United States Conference of Mayors, hosted by his friend and colleague, Mayor Philip Levine, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. His remarks served as the keynote speech for the inauguration of incoming President of the USCM, Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu.
In his address, Bloomberg highlighted the current rift between the White House and local governments, urging the leaders of our cities to take up the mantle of seeing the country through the challenges posed by climate change; referring to the administration’s exit from the Paris Accord as a clarion call for the heads of America’s metropolitan centers to deliver on the promise already made by most other nations on earth.
Part of the initiative is the so-called Mayors’ Challenge, now in its fourth iteration, which will award a total of $9,000,000 million dollars to the five best ideas submitted by Mayors in cities with 30 thousand or more residents. In addition, $100,000 will be awarded to each of the 25 runner-ups in the same competition to jump-start further research. The former Mayor made it clear that no idea would be considered too bold except, perhaps, Mayor Philip Levine’s idea to rename Miami Beach to “Levine Beach”. Should the host mayor consider renaming it “Bloomberg Beach”, he joked, then the three-time Mayor of the Big Apple would be more open to the idea.
Among those joining Mr. Bloomberg on the dais were former Mayor of Miami Dade, Manny Diaz, New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu and prominent Democrat James Carville.