What is more disruptive than changing the law so that you can run for a third term as mayor of New York City? Not much… except that our December Man of the Month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, used his third term to take on some of the most controversial issues of our time.
Mayor Bloomberg made headlines earlier this year with his soda ban. In an effort to curb the rising rate of obesity he put in motion a ban on the sale of sodas and other sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and concession stands. While this was not his first anti-obesity effort — he is well known for requiring fast-food and chain restaurants to label their menus with calorie information — the soda ban was particularly disruptive, causing both outrage and praise in New Yorke and across the country. Whether or not you agree with this ban, one thing is for sure: the entire country will be watching to see what impact it has on obesity rates.
Last year, Bloomberg addressed another huge health care issue: smoking. He created quite a stir by expanding the city’s smoking ban to parks, beaches and boardwalks. Now he’s set his sights on curbing second-hand smoke in apartment buildings. He has proposed a bill that would require buildings with three or more apartments — whether rental, condominium or coop — to disclose their rules about smoking in all indoor and outdoor locations, including inside apartments, on balconies and rooftops and in courtyards. While this is not an outright ban, Bloomberg is encouraging landlords to voluntarily adopt anti-smoking rules.
Most recently, Bloomberg has gained notoriety for his outspoken comments on Meet the Press following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. A long-time proponent of gun control, he called out President Obama for his total failure to take action on this issue. Bloomberg himself put his money where his mouth is during the last election by spending millions of his own SuperPAC money to prevent NRA-backed candidates from being elected. He has publicly denounced the NRA when many public officials fear to do so.
Michael Bloomberg is approaching the end of his career as mayor of New York City, but the actions that he took during his time in office will have resounding effects for many years to come. For his gutsy and often controversial actions in the name of health and safety, we here at Disruptive Women tip our hat to Mayor Bloomberg.