Philanthropist, media mogul and former New York City Mike Bloomberg calls himself an optimist in his annual letter on philanthropy. He also outlined the priorities for his foundation, which include climate and environment, gun violence, opioids, education, and supporting local leaders. Those come under the headings of arts, education, environment, government innovation, and public health.
Taking shots at federal lawmakers in the letter, Bloomberg wrote that “philanthropy can’t replace action by the federal government. But it can spur progress from the bottom up.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies is involved in projects in 510 cities and 129 countries. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $767 million around the world. Over his lifetime, Bloomberg has so far given more than $8 billion to philanthropy, according to the organization’s annual report.
wrote: “I always believe that tomorrow will be better than today. But I’m also a realist, and I know that believing and hoping won’t make it so. Doing is what matters,” Bloomberg said via the report.
He wrote in the letter: “America and the world face enormous challenges. And it’s safe to say that at least for the next two years, given the leadership vacuum in the White House and partisan gridlock in Congress, the federal government will make virtually no progress in meeting them.”
He continued: “We can’t afford to lose two years. Every day, the window for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change grows smaller. More Americans lose loved ones to opioid overdoses and gun violence. More students miss out on a good education and the opportunity to go to college. And communities that were once home to thriving industries slip further behind in the changing economy. Proposing ideas for 2021 isn’t good enough. We need to get things done in the here and now, and I’m lucky enough to be in a position to help do that.”