Well, it's Friday again. So let's see what our crazy mayor friends are up to, shall we?
This week, we're zeroing in on two cities in particular -- New York and Boston. Both of these cities are coming upon major mayoral elections in a few months, with New York getting set to release our famed Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and Boston setting free its longest-serving mayor, Tom Menino, who has held his position as that city's keeper for nearly 20 years. While the races to take their seats are heating up, both Menino and Bloomberg are continuing to make their voices and opinions heard.
Bloomberg takes the stairs (and you should, too): Mayor Bloomberg has made clear his desire for New Yorkers to get healthier, through his smoking and trans fats bans, his attempt to regulate sugary drinks, the CitiBike program, etc. Now, Bloomberg's taking on the stairs... or, well, he's taking the stairs -- and he's urging everyone else capable to do so as well.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg issued an executive order requiring city agencies to promote stair use. He's also proposed bills promoting the visibility of stairwells in new buildings, through signage encouraging their use.
Here at Future Cities headquarters, which is positioned at the top of a 20-floor building in Manhattan, I take the stairs as often as possible. Sure, I enjoy the health benefits -- but the main reason is because I've been stuck in the elevator here twice (and was once rescued by the FDNY!). Perhaps if Bloomberg wants people to take the stairs, he should encourage more buildings to operate faulty elevators...? Just kidding.
FDNY to the rescue!
Nicole's UBM colleague Julie Muroff being rescued from stalled elevator last September.
(Photo credit: Steve Saunders)
Tech exec throws in his hat for New York: Could New York end up with two Independent mayors in a row? That seems to be the hope of Jack D. Hidary, who is getting set to declare his candidacy next week, according to The New York Times. Hidary, who is 44 and made his fortune as a tech exec, pre-bubble-burst, has hired the well known political strategist Joe Trippi as his top advisor and -- if elected -- plans to "spur business by putting technology campuses in all five boroughs and temporarily reducing the city’s capital gains tax to encourage investments in companies," according to the NYT. Part of Hidary's reason for entering the race is his claim that New Yorkers are dissatisfied with the current lot of candidates. Which takes us to our next update...
Quinn takes the lead on Weiner: Things have gotten a little weird in New York politics in the past month or so, with Anthony Weiner deciding that he, too, would like to run on the Democratic mayoral ticket, just two years after this politician was criticized for sending out TwitPics of his... well... anyway... The point is, after spending some time tied with other front-running Dems, Christine Quinn has edged out a lead again on the eponymous Weiner and her other rivals. Can she maintain that? The NYT has written that polls show New Yorkers are looking for an empathetic mayor in the post-Bloomberg era. While Quinn is known for her brashness, she's also a woman and a lesbian who has fought for gay rights, which may make her more appealing to those seeking an empathizer in office.
Menino scolds Rolling Stone: In case you missed it, the one-time great music industry magazine Rolling Stone has upset many this week by putting the Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on the cover of its latest issue. Since then, the mag has received no shortage of negative feedback (its Facebook page is a fantastic, public example of this); retailers have refused to sell the issue; and Mayor Tom Menino of Boston has let the pub know in a letter that he's very disappointed. Menino called the issue "ill-conceived, at best," adding that it "re-affirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their 'causes.' " (You can read the full letter here.)
No one leads in Boston: While New York's race has been fairly predictable at times, Boston's is still wide open. According to Reuters' write-up of a Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll, none of the dozen candidates is taking a significant lead. Menino has enjoyed nearly 20 years in office, and while a whole range of individuals have stepped up to replace him -- including City Councilor-at-Large John Connolly and State Representative Martin Walsh -- the public appears to be, as yet, uninspired.
Hey, Menino, are you sure you have to go?
Previous Mayor's Desk Updates:
— Nicole Ferraro, , Editor in Chief, UBM's Future Cities