Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson delivered her first State of the Borough address at Manhattan College on March 1, before a large crowd of supporters and politicians including New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. The event was held at Kelly Commons and Brother Daniel Gardner, FSC, the president of Manhattan College, offered an opening prayer.
The borough president laid out an ambitious agenda for 2023 that addressed education, economic development, gender equity, housing, public safety and tourism. She expressed her gratitude to Bronx small business owners who were able to stay open during the pandemic and the economic downturn that accompanied it.
“For far too long, Bronx businesses have been an afterthought,” Gibson said. “This was further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It upended our lives and our day-to-day activities. We are truly grateful for the commitment and efforts of all our small businesses who stayed the course and kept their small businesses open. The barbershops, the hair salons, the restaurants, the cafes and the bodegas shape our neighborhoods and are what makes them truly unique. They are the foundation of our borough and our city.”
Gibson discussed the digital divide and how digital exclusion in the Bronx has impacted its residents. She said that too many residents don’t have access to technology and that her administration is “deeply committed to bringing our borough into the 21st century.” According to the NYC Internet Master Plan,18% of NYC residents have no internet access at home or at work and 40% are missing one or the other.
During her address, Gibson praised the College and told the audience that this was her third visit “with the Jaspers” since September.
“I was at Manhattan College in the fall, joining Brother Dan, his leadership team and student veterans for the opening of the brand new Student Veterans Center,” Gibson said. “I was back for the 50th anniversary of Title IX, and now we’re back again at Manhattan College to celebrate its 100 years here in the Bronx. If you haven’t been, I highly encourage you to visit this beautiful campus.”
"We are honored to be hosting Borough President Vanessa Gibson’s 2023 state of the borough address, particularly as the College celebrates its 100 years in the Bronx,” said Brother Daniel. “We recognize that the Bronx is a special place and look forward to partnering with the borough president’s office in the future as she continues to improve the lives of its residents and help make the borough a better, more equitable place to live.”