On February 10, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio gave his inaugural State of the City address at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. Set on a college campus named in the memory of a highly respected former mayor of New York City, De Blasio outlined a progressive agenda that challenges elected officials to restore the city back to fair practices and dismantle what he calls “the tale of two cities”.
Mayor De Blasio calls for a new foundation that provides greater equality and opportunity for all New Yorkers as a part of his administrative agenda. Honest about the financial viability of the city as gridlocked, De Blasio is optimistic that his administration can navigate NYC towards a future that is progressive and fiscally responsible.
“We demand a city that lifts the floor for those struggling from day to day, that offers all New Yorkers a fair shot”, says De Blasio.
The De Blasio administration plans to lift the floor for struggling New Yorkers with the extension of paid sick leave, a cause already championed in sych with the City Council. Though income inequality gaps are a reality for 46 percent of New Yorkers, De Blasio has set his sights on building a better and stronger city. De Blasio expects to raise the minimum wage in all five boroughs and add 200,000 new affordable housing units for upwards to half a million city residents.
Praising his camp, De Blasio declared, “this is a team that knows how to execute its core responsibility while never losing sight that we are called as a part of a larger mission.” De Blasio went on to say that the inequality gap “fundamentally threatens our city’s future. It cannot and will not be ignored by your city government.”
In his speech, De Blasio took time to address undocumented residents and assure that they also have a place in his vision of the city.“To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, New York City is your home too and we will not force any of our residents to live in the shadows”, said De Blasio.
In the coming months, New Yorkers can expect the De Blasio administration to release municipal ID cards for all citizen statuses, a shift from corporate subsidies to tuition assistance and job skill training. De Blasio has an aggressive roadmap which includes: an entrepreneurship fund for small businesses, expanding the reach of the fashion industry across the five boroughs to create more jobs, advancing a science, technology and math program at CUNY, offering training and apprenticeship programs, in-sourced labor for the technology industry and expanding the efforts to aid hurricane Sandy victims.
To pay for his aggressive agenda, De Blasio calls for a fair raise in taxes on city residents that earn $500,000 and up starting in September 2014. The raise in taxes are reported to be $970 extra for the wealthiest New Yorkers and will help fund services like the universal pre-kindergarten that De Blasio envisions. De Blasio insists that he is not asking the state to pay for funds, but instead is asking for the state to allow the city to tax itself.
De Blasio concluded his address with a message that all New Yorkers can likely appreciate.“We’ve got one chance to get this right. Let’s seize it.”