Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 New York list is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has announced his new proposal that would further restrict food stamp allowances.
Company: New York City and Bloomberg LP
What Makes Him Haute: The popular current mayor of New York City convinced the City Council to extend the two-term limit last year, allowing him to run for a third term. He earned his multibillion-dollar fortune by selling financial data and analytic tools to Wall Street. This lucrative business evolved into Bloomberg LP, which now has a magazine, cable network, and radio station. It has been reported that the philanthropic Bloomberg will sell his 68 percent stake one day and perhaps give away the fortune. In March 2009, Forbes reported his net worth at $16 billion, which makes him one of the most successful billionaires in the United States during the recession, and the world’s biggest increase in wealth in 2009. As mayor of New York, Bloomberg declines to receive a city salary, accepting compensation of $1.00 annually for his services.
What Makes Him Haute Now: Bloomberg continues to address the importance of restricting soda from our diets. Last spring, he supported a penny per ounce tax on the beverage and those like it (that did not pass), and this October he’s leading legislation that would prohibit food stamp recipients from purchasing sugary drinks with their government aid.
The number of Americans in New York City that qualify for food stamps has increased by 35 percent in recent years and it is now estimated that 1.7 million receive assistance when buying groceries, with restrictions already in place on cigarettes and alcohol; Bloomberg would like permission to add this 2 year ban in an effort to help reduce obesity rates and improve the overall health of these New Yorkers he can reach.
Although there is debate that preventative measures such as this will alienate lower income families by taking away their right to decide, Bloomberg stands behind an initiative that he believes “will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment.”