In his first WNYC interview since winning the Democratic nomination for mayor, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, discussed his policy agenda, the latest from the campaign trail, and more news of the day. He credited Michael Bloomberg for health and environmental initiatives, but said Bloomberg squandered local control and was "losing touch" with the economic state of the city, particularly in his third term.
On his plan to raise funds to expand pre-K and after-school programs by raising taxes on the very wealthy, de Blasio called the tax a "small, local" proposal that he doesn't think would scare away wealthier New Yorkers from moving to or staying in the city. His tax is one proposal to help address inequality, something the de Blasio admited is not entirely under control of the New York mayor. But de Blasio vowed to do everything he's empowered to do, particularly since he feels the federal government isn't doing enough.
When asked about the two candidates looking to fill his shoes as Public Advocate, de Blasio said Tish James and Daniel Squadron are "both friends" who "would do a fine job" -- and that he has no plans to endorse either one.
What de Blasio says he learned from his HUD years: "How easily government gums up a good idea." Talking on @BrianLehrer now.— Anna Sale (@annasale) September 27, 2013
De Blasio, who had denied using the phrase "democratic socialism," tells @BrianLehrer: "Yes, I did write that phrase on a piece of paper"— Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) September 27, 2013