Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his push to unite a so-called "tale of two cities" and end economic inequality during his first State of the City address Monday. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio may be moving deeper into his first term as mayor, but he is nevertheless repeating many of the messages he trumpeted during the campaign.
"The truth is, the state of our city as we find it today is a tale of two cities, with an inequality gap that fundamentally threatens our future," the mayor said in his first State of the City address Monday.
His inaugural State of the City address covered little new ground. Instead, the new mayor talked up familiar plans: his deal with the City Council to expand paid sick leave, and his plans to create more so-called living wage jobs in the five boroughs.
'We want to ensure that New Yorkers aren't relegated to the ranks of the poor when putting in a full week's work," de Blasio said.
He promised that the city's housing officials would have a plan in place by May 1 to reach the mayor's goal of creating or saving nearly 200,000 affordable housing units, and he said that the city plans to issue ID cards to New Yorkers who are not legal residents of the U.S. He also called on Albany lawmakers to give the city the authority to set its own minimum wage.
The mayor also devoted considerable time to promoting his plan to tax wealthy New Yorkers to pay for universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds.
However, he mentioned only in passing the elephant in the room: the fact that unionized city workers are working with expired contracts, and that the retroactive pay raises the unions want could cost the city an estimated $8 billion.
The mayor's speech did not get into the nitty gritty details about how he plans to pay for his agenda. That will come on Wednesday, when the mayor unveils his preliminary budget proposal at City Hall.
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