Bill De Blasio was sworn in as New York’s mayor yesterday.
Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bill de Blasio assumed office as New York’s 109th mayor yesterday, sworn in by former President Bill Clinton at a ceremony attended by thousands who heard him vow to dedicate his government to improving life for the least fortunate.
The first Democrat to run New York in 20 years pledged to move swiftly on an agenda that calls for affordable housing and community health centers. He renewed a proposal to tax the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten classes and after- school programs, a levy that would require state approval in an election year.
“We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love,” de Blasio, 52, said in his 18-minute address delivered on the steps of City Hall in lower Manhattan. “And so today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York. And that same progressive impulse has written our city’s history. It’s in our DNA.”
Egalitarian themes from de Blasio, who officially took the oath of office hours earlier at midnight before hundreds of supporters outside his Brooklyn home, have already captured national attention. President Barack Obama invited him and other newly elected mayors to a White House meeting last month to focus on job creation and economic fairness, and he emerged from the 90-minute session as the main spokesman for the group. Democrats will run the 12 biggest U.S. cities this year.
If the Occupy movement can take any heart from the protests of the past three years, it is this: New Yorkers saw their protests, and realized the movement was right: something is desperately wrong with the economic model of the United States. The largest city in the country is now a lab experiment on how to fix that.
And in fixing, we hope that other problems like healthcare and crime will similarly be lessened. Altho how crime in the city can get much lower is anybody’s guess. One thing we can be sure of: black men and women will be able to walk the streets in far less fear of being Stopped and Frisked.
There will be critics, both local and national, watching his every move and ready to pounce on even the slightest veer from course or aberrative data point to prove he’s a failure. In this, I hope he takes a page from President Obama’s playbook and stays the course. It’s easy to criticize, far harder to govern.
We here at Simply Left Behind wish him well.