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Speaking before about 300 public service leaders at New York University's Kimmel Center, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on April 6, 2009, announced a series of new initiatives to help more than 40,000 nonprofit cultural, health and social service organizations in New York City weather the economic downturn. The event was sponsored by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with welcoming words offered by NYU President John Sexton, and with the Mayor introduced and the economic challenges confronting the nonprofit sector framed in opening remarks delivered by NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall.
"Almost half a million New Yorkers who make up our nonprofit workforce contribute profoundly to the heartbeat of our city by helping residents across the five boroughs -- particularly during these trying times," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether by training people for jobs, providing access to arts and culture, or building affordable housing, the nonprofit sector is a vital part of the City and our economy. As nonprofits face increasing challenges due to the economic downturn, it's critical that the City take concrete steps to strengthen the sector and help it thrive."
The mayor's initiatives are aimed at helping nonprofit organizations reduce fixed costs through group-purchasing of goods, energy savings, and other strategies, improving the city's contracting procedures, increasing bridge loans, and providing dedicated assistance through nyc.gov - where the initiatives are spelled out in detail -- and the 311 city information hotline.
Dean Schall said, "Mayor Bloomberg has shown unprecedented acknowledgement and support of the vital role that the nonprofit sector plays in New York City. As the dean of the NYU Graduate School of Public Service, I applaud the Mayor for focusing needed attention on the critical needs of nonprofits, which have been particularly hard hit by current economic conditions. Streamlining the process for nonprofits to contract with the city strengthens the bottom line. Just as important is the Mayor's call for increased collaboration and partnership. NYU Wagner, through its faculty, students , and alumni, is proud to partner with the city in its efforts to maximize the positive impact of the city's nonprofit sector."