Since taking office in 2002, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg may have done more to change the city than any elected official in history.He’s led many crusades from education and gun control to that pesky little soda ban you may have heard of.
We think most of his changes have been progressive and for the benefit of NYC, but that hasn’t prevented one of the world’s wealthiest men from escaping controversy or scrutiny.
Though Bloomberg got many laws passed over the past 10 years to change the city, we narrowed it down to his 10 biggest changes.
When Bloomberg first took office, the New York City educational system was governed by a seven-member board. Only two of those members were chosen directly by the mayor.
Citing poor test scores and a lack of oversight, Bloomberg got a provision passed and took control of the school system himself in 2002. His first appointee was Joel Klein in July of that year and test scores have improved under Bloomberg's stewardship.
Mayor Bloomberg does not like second hand smoke. Over the last decade, he's banned smoking in restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.
Smoker groups were incensed, but non-smokers rejoiced at not having to breath in that filthy air more often.
Let's face it, New York has totally changed since 9/11 and the city's new mayor had to keep a fearful city safe. So he gave the people a sense of importance and reassurance with this campaign to notify authorities if you see anything suspicious around the city.
Given New York City's incredible diversity and large population, it was about time that all of the city's government departments were streamlined into one service.
By dialling 311 (or 212-NEWYORK) you can now find out all the available city information you need in more than 170 languages. It eased a lot of confusion and made thousands of lives easier.
Under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership, the NYPD Stop and Frisk rules have drawn heavy criticism from minority groups that have called the random searches of individuals as racist.
In 2002, 97,296 were randomly stopped by police, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. In 2011, that number increased to a staggering 685,724 times. Of those hundreds of thousands of people 'randomly' stopped, 53 per cent were black, 34 per cent were Latino and nine per cent were white, according to the NYCLU.
To combat the growing obesity problem in New York, Mayor Bloomberg was able to ban all trans-fats and shortenings in restaurants across the city in 2006.
Then in 2008, to improve accountability in restaurants, he had a law passed that mandated restaurants to post the amount of calories each menu item contains. Now there are calorie counts in many major cities across the country.
How many mayors would pay for a Super Bowl commercial calling for more strict gun control? Mayor Bloomberg did this year and famously tried to throw the book at ex-Giants football player Plaxico Burress for shooting himself in the leg with an unlicensed weapon at a club in 2008.
Mayor Bloomberg was all for the law limiting New York City's mayor to two terms in office until he decided he wanted to stay for a third term.
So he used his fiscal might and got the law changed in 2008 by a city council vote. He appointed many of those members, so perhaps they owed him.
If you've ever taken the subway, you've wondered how long it would be before your train arrived. So when the city began installing digital LED displays in stations in 2010 telling you how long your wait would be, it was a really big deal.
Is Mayor Bloomberg crazy? He wants to ban sodas and sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces? Coke and McDonald's, along with millions of New Yorkers, are extremely upset that larger sugared beverages would be banned in the city.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.