‘People have alternatives’: Bloomberg issues a warning to his would-be successors about New York

Bloomberg in the offices of BuzzFeed. (Edward Reed via Flickr)
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As his would-be successors campaign, with varying degress of enthusiasm, against his legacy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is warning that the gains the city has made in the tourism and tech sectors, and in public safety, during his three terms should not be taken for granted.

During a press conference at BuzzFeed's offices about the growth of the city's tech sector, a reporter asked Bloomberg if he thought that industry had reached "critical mass."

"You can't ever say you have, because there's always somebody out there that's gonna eat your lunch if you believe that," Bloomberg said. "I think it's fair to say that we are on the right path, growing dramatically, but Silicon Valley is still bigger than New York City in terms of start-ups and access to capital. I think we have passed Boston and Austin, and a couple of places like that that have been hotbeds. But you never know. Somebody else could do exactly the same thing. This is not the only place."

The mayor has made the growth of the city's tech sector one of the centerpiece accomplishments of his third term in office, along with the city's booming tourism industry and low crime rates.

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Today, the mayor strongly implied that, in the case of tech, tourism and crime, the candidates to replace him risk making a terrible mistake.

"People have alternatives," he said, referring to tourists. "And you've got to keep explaining to them why this is the place to come and also keep making sure that it is the place to come. In the case of tourism, it's low crime, and access to cultural institutions and hotels and restaurants that they can afford. In the case of tech, it's space and other companies, and access to employees."