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IN THE NEWS - January 5, 2002: New Mayor of New York City - 2002-01-04

This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.

Michael Bloomberg was sworn in as mayor of New York City on Tuesday. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani led a ceremony in Times Square a few moments after the New Year began.

About five-hundred-thousand New Year’s Eve celebrants watched the event. It was the largest public gathering in the city since the terrorist attacks on September eleventh.

A swearing-in ceremony had never been held in Times Square before. But, New York City has changed since the destruction of the World Trade Center. Both Mister Giuliani and Mister Bloomberg hoped that holding a ceremony in Times Square would help people feel safe in the city. An official ceremony took place at City Hall later in the day.

Mister Bloomberg, a Republican, is the one-hundred-eighth mayor of New York. He defeated Democrat Mark Green in the election in November. The new mayor spent a record seventy-million dollars of his own money on his campaign for the office.

This is the first political office Michael Bloomberg has held. He has been an extremely successful businessman. Mister Bloomberg began his professional life in Nineteen-Sixty-Six as a trader on Wall Street. In the early Nineteen-Eighties, he started a company that developed and sold financial information technology. He made hundreds of millions of dollars in the business.

In Nineteen-Ninety, Michael Bloomberg opened a financial news service. Bloomberg News grew quickly. Today, it employs more than one-thousand people to provide news to media and companies around the world. The news service led to Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg-dot-com on the Internet.

Political experts say Mister Bloomberg’s business skills could help New York solve its current economic difficulties. The city has a four-thousand-million dollar budget deficit. One-hundred-thousand people in the city lost their jobs as a result of the terrorist attacks. And, a number of companies moved out of the city.

Mister Bloomberg also faces problems in the New York City public education system. The actions he takes during his term could affect more than one-million students in the city.

Michael Bloomberg will lead New York while it makes difficult decisions about the future of the area where the World Trade Center once stood. Some people feel the area should be made into a memorial for the thousands of people who died there. Others want to see the Trade Center re-built to show that New York is not defeated.

The new mayor has not yet said what he thinks about these and other issues. However, he did make one promise. He said Rudy Giuliani had asked him not to fail the people of New York. Michael Bloomberg answered, “Rudy, I will not.”

This VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS was written by Caty Weaver. This is Steve Ember.