New NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Vows To Close The City’s Inequality Gap

January 2, 2014  |  

When Bill de Blasio was inaugurated as New York City’s 109th mayor yesterday he promised to take “dead aim” at closing the affordability gap and laid out his plan.

“Former U.S. President Bill Clinton administered the oath of office on a Bible once used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The formal midday service was held hours after De Blasio officially took office just after midnight on Jan. 1 in a small ceremony at his home in Brooklyn,” reports the Huffington Post.

“When I said we would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “That mission – our march towards a fairer, more just, more progressive place, our march to keep the promise of New York alive for the next generation – it begins today.”

De Blasio listed his priorities: expanding the city’s paid sick leave law, forcing large developers to build more affordable housing, reforming the controversial police tactic of stop-and-frisk that critics say leads to racial profiling, and offering universal access to pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.

Mayor de Blasio’s pre-kindergarten plan will require a tax hike for the city’s highest earner. And the hike must be approved by state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

While de Blasio’s plan has its detractors, the city’s new comptroller, Scott Stringer, and its new public advocate, Letitia James, both echoed his theme of confronting inequality.

“The growing gap between the haves and the have-nots undermines our city and tears at the fabric of our democracy,” said James, a former city councilwoman who is the first black woman to be elected to citywide office in New York City.

To illustrate the issue, Dasani Coates, the homeless young girl who was profiled in this amazing five-part New York Times story that published last month, was in attendance at the inauguration.

The new mayor called for fewer city tax incentives to attract or retain large corporations in favor of more investment in small businesses. “He’s also advocated spending more on the City University of New York for scholarships and work-force training. He favors a “living wage” of $10.50 an hour plus benefits to be paid to anyone working in a project that has received low-cost city financing or tax abatements,” reports Bloomberg.

What do you thing of de Blasio’s plan?

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