Contact: Rafael Morales, Communications Officer
212-809-1850 ext. 206
(January 3, 2006 – New York, NY) Federation CEO Cliff Rosenthal spent New Year’s Day at the second-term inauguration of New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. The seventy-five minute outdoor ceremony in City Hall Plaza was opened by television celebrity Barbara Walters, moderated by actor John Lithgow, and closed with a rousing version of “New York, New York” by Liza Minelli.
Rosenthal was invited as a Bloomberg appointee to New York City’s Consumer Council. In the fall, he was also named a member of the Advisory Committee for the NYC New Markets Corporation, a new City-entity formed to access the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program of the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund.
In contrast to Bloomberg’s first inaugural address, delivered a few short months after the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center, his remarks this year sounded a vigorously optimistic note, citing record decrease in crime, improvement in school test scores, and population growth. Most importantly for community economic development advocates, the mayor vowed to create 165,000 new affordable-housing units and to promote significant job growth. The City’s Comptroller, William C. Thompson, Jr., who was also sworn in for a second term, promised to continue to use the City’s vast pension funds to promote banking services in underserved areas.
New York City has been one of the nation’s leaders in promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program of the Internal Revenue Service. “It’s been very gratifying for the Federation and our CDCUs in New York to work with the Department of Consumer Affairs on these programs, which have returned tens of millions of dollars to low-wage New York City workers,” said Rosenthal.
The inauguration was followed by a reception in the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank building across from City Hall, an imposing, ornate landmark building now used by municipal offices. The bank was started in 1850 by members of the Irish Emigrant society, and provided financial services to thousands of Irish immigrants who came to America following the infamous Potato Famine.