Bloomberg was elected the 108th mayor of New York City and the third Jewish mayor of the city. Although he was hailed for his work as a leading figure in the 600-member Mayors Against Illegal Weapons coalition, the indignation that followed Bloomberg's incursion outside the jurisdiction of his own city, not to mention the state, in Virginia as part of a cheating maneuver designed to demonstrate the laxity of state gun laws, was seen as a broader sign of his Yankee stigma for the electorate south of the Mason-Dixon line. Although he was reticent to his ambitions after mayor's office and shy about saying more than a return to philanthropy once he left the city hall, the permutations of a Bloomberg candidacy included the mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, as a possible vice president to increase political and geographical balance. In 2001, the current mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, could not be re-elected, as the city limited the mayor's office to two consecutive terms.
In 2002, Bloomberg submitted bids from New York City to organize the Democratic and Republican nomination conventions for the 2004 presidential campaign. They went on to say that New York has also changed in other ways, whether in the proliferation of bicycle lanes, the introduction of a bike-sharing plan, or the remodeling of large areas of the city. One of Mayor Bloomberg's biggest successes in developing New York City was to revitalize Brooklyn Bridge Park, a design process funded by a long-term financial model to develop several structures throughout the park, including the adaptive reuse of Empire Stores stores in DUMBO. Bloomberg supported immigration reform to guarantee the rights of undocumented immigrants, who make up a large part of New York City's population.
Some members of the New York City Council initially criticized the network for being too concerned about ratings. The Bloomberg election marked the first time in New York City's history that two different Republicans were elected mayors in a row. Bloomberg extended New York City's smoking ban to all commercial establishments, including bars and nightclubs. In 2002, at the behest of Bloomberg, local boards and the Board of Education were abolished and replaced by a new mayor's agency, the Department of Education.
Starting in 2003, Bloomberg became increasingly adamant in demanding that federal national security funds be distributed to municipalities based on risk—such as New York City—and the population, rather than any other measure. Giuliani's term as mayor was highlighted by the zero-tolerance policies he had promoted together with New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, and he made a name for himself as a tough city attorney during the 1980s. Only two of the seven were appointed by the mayor, which meant that the city had a minority of representatives on the board and the mayor's ability to shape education policy was greatly reduced. Bloomberg stated that he rides the New York City subway every day, especially when he goes from home to his office at City Hall.
He does not reside in the official residence of the Mayor of New York, Gracie Mansion, but in his own home on the Upper East Side.