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In de Blasio Speech, All About Inequality

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College on February 10, 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College on February 10, 2014. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio used his first State of the City speech to pound home his signature campaign theme of income inequality, summoning the spirit of Depression-era Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to the present-day battle against poverty and the struggles of the middle class.

Addressing elected officials and supporters at La Guardia Community College in Queens, de Blasio promised to use all the machinery of city government to make progress on the issue, even if the state and federal governments won’t.

On education, housing and wages, he offered a menu of proposals, some of them new and others that came straight from his campaign playbook. He said he would seek authority from the state legislature to raise the minimum wage in the city and, without providing specifics, said he would move forward a stalled effort to provide a living wage for “tens of thousands” of New Yorkers.

And he again pushed Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to let him raise taxes on the city’s rich to pay for universal pre-kindergarten instead of paying for it with state funds. He said the state already owes the city billions of dollars in education funding under a decade-old lawsuit.

The mayor did not address the problem of homelessness, which has put more than 50,000 New Yorkers in city shelters in recent years. But he promised a plan to address the affordable housing crisis by May 1.

“We understand that allowing the income gap to stretch further isn’t simply a threat to those at the bottom — but to every New Yorker,” the mayor said. “And we also know this: New York’s personal commitment to tackling inequality knows no boundaries of geography and income.”

The mayor had praise for city workers, especially the uniformed services who helped the city through a recent spate of snowstorms. But he failed to directly address the city’s most pressing fiscal uncertainty — looming contract negotiations with its 300,000-member workforce.

“We are in the midst of a budgetary challenge that is unprecedented,” said the mayor, who is scheduled to release his first preliminary budget proposal in two days. “We will navigate toward a future that is progressive and fiscally responsible.”

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Comments [2]

joseph E. Falardo from 1870 hering avenue bx 10461

this comment is to address a situation that the Mayor knows of when he was the public advocate, he talks of Mayor LaGuardia for his achievement as Mayor. I would also like to include Mayor Lindsey who gave the NYCPD and the NYCFD the Variable Supplement Fund in our 1968-69 contract and it was to supplement our pensions of the art.1 and 2 of the NYCPD and the art.1 and 1b of the NYCFD we all paid into the pensions that created this benefit what happened in city hall at the time a word change in 1970 Adm. Code "FROM SERVICE TO FOR SERVICE" that change eliminated the disable and vested from receiving this benefit, and the sad part about all this is that the PBA and the UFA along with the City of NY have lobbied Albany to not pass an Inquiry bill A-7476 and S-5909 Mayor Koch was able to swidle 4,000,000 billion dollars from our fund when he changed the VSF to a Defined Benefit the City took a 15% skim from the top I sent Marsha Kramer info on this matter. If you want the paper work to expose this injustice go to VSF4ALL.ORG, You will see the home rule message from Mayor Lindsey to Govenor Rockefeller and more

Feb. 18 2014 04:47 PM
JRW from Manhattan

Promises, promises! Of course, our esteemed Mayor stopped short of telling everyone how he'd make good good on his grandiose mega-promises. That way he can blame everyone else for his inability to get anything done.

Instead, why doesn't our esteemed blow-hard Mayor get every able-bodied public assistance recipient out at night to clean off the streets and patch the pot-holes? That's the kind of progress we can see and from which every New Yorker - rich or poor - can benefit.

And shame on WNYC for not holding his feet to the fire. The only one who is not giving him a pass these days seems to CBS-2's Marcia Kramer.

When will they (we) ever learn?

Feb. 11 2014 06:11 PM

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