Michael Bloomberg is giving away $200 million to help local governments pursue proposals that empower them and circumvent Donald Trump and his controversial policies. The proposals can also tackle relevant issues that have been so far neglected by the Trump administration.
The former New York mayor and billionaire philanthropist, who happens to be the tenth richest person in the whole world, wants U.S. mayors to act on issues involving climate change, gun control, immigration and public health, among others.
Trump has been criticized for his immigration policies and his withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. In fact, Bloomberg had strong words for Trump with regards to the withdrawal.
According to Bloomberg, “virtually every scientist – with peer review – says the same thing” about climate change and Trump’s denial of it and the recent pull out of the United States from the Paris Agreement is “embarrassing.” The Independent also quoted Bloomberg saying that “no reputable person or scientist doubts that we are creating an environmental and a climate change problem” by refusing to regulate the carbon dioxide reduction in the atmosphere.
“Is it helpful that America pulls out and the president says these things? No, it is not helpful. Is it a disaster for the world? No, it just makes us look foolish.”
Bloomberg is set to announce his new program, called American Cities Initiative, during the United States Conference of Mayors which will be held in Miami Beach on Monday. The $200 million fund will be utilized to help American mayors with policy proposals engaged in large-scale issues that can be enacted in a city-wide extent. The local government leaders will be granted an amount within a six- to seven-figure range to see if the proposal will actually be effective in dealing with such issues.
This move by Bloomberg is an “extension of his advocacy for national policies,” as New York Times reported. The program specifically aims to help Democrats to make good on their promises to keep the “conservative mandates emerging from Washington” in check by “using their power at the local level.”
Bloomberg has long been a vocal critic of Trump. In fact, he considered running for president in 2016 as an independent but later withdrew. Bloomberg recently explained at the Jefferies 2017 Global Healthcare Conference why he dropped out off the race. As CNBC reported, Bloomberg decided not to pursue the U.S. presidency mainly because he didn’t want Trump to win.
“If you have three credible candidates, nobody is going to get 50 percent,” Bloomberg explained. “And if no one gets 50 percent it goes to the House of Representatives to pick a president.”
“In my case, the House would have picked Donald Trump, and my obit would have been about only one thing: He’s the guy that gave us Donald Trump.”
[Featured Image by Rick Odell/Getty Images]