NEW YORK (AP) — His 12 years in office may be winding down, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he has plenty of unfinished business he wants to get done.
The mayor has started giving his final State of the City speech Thursday at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn's new arena. He has 11 months left in City Hall.
Bloomberg is citing a roster of accomplishments during his three terms. They range from growing life expectancy to declining murders to the building of the arena itself.
He says his goal is "not to spend the year cutting ribbons," but rather to "take on the toughest jobs."
He's also unveiling a slate of environmental and other initiatives.
It's a notable day for the mayor in another way, too. It's his 71st birthday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has reached a milestone — his 12th and final State of the City address.
Bloomberg is scheduled to give his speech Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In advance of the speech, his administration put out some of what it considered to be the highlights of where the city is, such as record high life expectancy and record number of tourists.
Bloomberg is expected to use part of his address to push initiatives that would increase the number of parking spaces for electric cars and begin recycling more plastics and food waste.
The mayor who has taken on smoking, sugary drinks and salt is also expected to talk about working with the City Council to ban Styrofoam food packaging from stores and restaurants.
"One product that is virtually impossible to recycle and never bio-degrades is Styrofoam. Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint," he said in excerpts on his speech released early.
He said his aim is to ban Styrofoam food packaging from stores and restaurants. "We can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine," he said.
Some communities around the country have barred eateries from using to-go containers made of it. A similar proposal has stalled in New York's City Council in recent years.
Bloomberg said the city would install curbside vehicle chargers that would let drivers recharge in 30 minutes and that his administration would work with the City Council to change the city's building code so that up to 20 percent of new public parking spaces are wired for electric cars, with the goal of creating 10,000 spaces for electric cars over the next seven years.