"MAYORS do things. Mayors make things happen. There's one thing mayors can agree on, whether they're Republicans, Democrats, or Independents and I'm the one person in the room who can speak, with authority on all three. We don't have the luxury of giving speeches and making promises," says Mayor Mike Bloomberg of NYC.
This is all according to a recent dazzling article in the June 11-18th issue of New York magazine. I urge everyone who cares about the future to read this important piece written by Gabriel Sherman. What it tells us is that Mayor Bloomberg is much more interested in what his influence will be in the future, the world over, than in being remembered for his "nanny" influence over New York City.
- According to reporter Gabriel, Bloomberg, knowing he probably couldn't win the presidency, has already given up on "such small potatoes" and intends to be a wider, more free-wheeling, saviour of the world in general, once he is no longer Mayor. "He has famously strong views on where people can smoke, what they should eat (and last week, drink), how much companies can pollute, and how schools educate their students, and he plans to bring these ideas to the biggest possible audience. He has also been working to shape legislation on issues from gun control and gay marriage to pension reform. And he doesn't hesitate to personally fund his agenda. He has committed $600 million over ten years to anti-tobacco efforts globally."
- The Mayor is funding programs to improve traffic signs all over the world. He is helping shutter a third of the country's coal power plants. He funds money against problems in cities from Atlanta to Sao Paulo. He has people working to help New York overhaul the systems for processing business licenses and increasing local energy efficiency. He has funded millions of crime-reduction programs, education initiatives, innovative new ideas and projects. "He may well have wanted to be president, but I am convinced that he could well end up more influential and important than the next president," says political advisor Doug Schoen. Bloomberg sees himself as a problem solver on the global stage.
- His passions? Gun control, immigration, climate change. Unlike the Bill Gates Foundation, devoted to vaccines and the global AIDS epidemic, Bloomberg will assault "the shibboleths of both parties, and partisanship itself." I know the Mayor and have worked with and for him. But because he has a jokey, charming, flirtatious and humorous personality, I never dreamed of his most serious depths. I have found him, in his support of worthy charities, generous beyond words.
- This magazine article is one of the most encouraging things I have read in a long time. Even I could understand it and I find it increasingly difficult to understand the new "celebrity:"...the Kardashian era...technology...science...and diehard partisanship which refuses to compromise for the common good...I couldn't manage to give the applause the Mayor so richly deserves. Hooray, for Mike Bloomberg!
- And I am eager to see the Mayor again and talk to him about this article where he comes off like a hero. It should be quite a night Monday, June 11th at Eataly's Rooftop "La Birreria" down on Fifth Avenue when the annual Mayor's Fund Benefit & Live Auction is held. (Among the auction prizes: a party of four at the super-exclusive Rao's restaurant...four courtside seats at an upcoming Knicks game...see Jay-Z perform at the "Jingle Ball" in December.) I even lured a married man away from his beautiful wife so I could be escorted to this important dinner.