Contact: Matt Sweeney, (212) 669-3747 January 12, 2012
NEW YORK, NY – Comptroller John C. Liu’s statement on the Mayor’s State of the City address:
“It was great to hear the Mayor support the Dream Act in New York. It would help unlock the potential that so many New Yorkers possess but can’t realize because of their difficulties gaining access to higher education.
“It was also great to hear that the Mayor supports an increase in the minimum wage, which would be in line with the enactment of living wage legislation for publicly subsidized projects. Both of these measures would help eliminate the increasing income gap that New York has experienced in recent years.
“We are disappointed, however, at the mere half-line mention of increasing opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs at a time when only two percent of the City’s business is actually going to minority and women entrepreneurs. Clearly, more work needs to be done to level the playing field.
“It was also disappointing that the Mayor used the reduction in employee workforce headcount as a metric of success without acknowledging the ballooning costs of outside contracting.
“The Mayor devoted much of his speech to addressing some of the continuing shortcomings in our public schools, but his harsh criticism of teachers was surprising and unwarranted. They have faced years of demoralizing anti-teacher rhetoric. At the end of the day, the Mayor and all of us rely on teachers to do the hard work of educating our kids.”