New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told an assembled crowd of politicians and supporters this week that with nearly four years to go in his second term, his administration’s first priority will be to make New York City “the fairest big city in America.”
In his annual State of the City speech, de Blasio said the United States is in the grip of income inequality that is close to making a “mockery” of democracy. Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, he referenced the current state of national politics in 2018 and told the crowd, “We in fact have to be the antidote to the sickness that is gripping our nation.”
The mayor number of proposals he believes will improve the overall state of the city. He promised to make New York City safer by expanding neighborhood policing efforts while also allowing police more leeway to decide who needs to be arrested. He also said he expects that every police officer employed by the city will be equipped with a body camera by the end of 2018. Another proposal would make 3K – free preschool for three-year-olds – available to all children in the city by 2021.
Another way the New York Mayor is putting distance between himself and the national political scene is by promising to focus on climate change and its impact on the city and its residents. Mayor de Blasio said that since the Trump Administration had withdrawn from the Paris climate change accord, it was up the New York City administration to protect its residents. He proposed a range of ideas, from setting more electric vehicle charging stations to divesting more than $5 billion of the city’s pension funds that are now invested in fossil fuels.
Mayor de Blasio also focused on the ongoing issues with the New York City subway system, which is out of money and in desperate need of repairs and upgrades. He has proposed a tax in millionaires to help finance the plan, but he also said that to make that happen, he needed support from the state legislators in Albany. He pledged he would meet with them anywhere, but repeated his argument that all money raised from the city’s residents must remain in the city and not by siphoned off by state financial needs.