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Mayor 'Progressing' After First 100 Days in Office

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Mayor Bill de Blasio reflected on his first 100 days in office Thursday which he says is the product of "movement politics" and a progressive agenda.

Speaking at Cooper Union, the mayor looked back on the first three months of his administration and thanked those that have helped him through.

He promoted several of his accomplishments, including securing state funding for pre-kindergarten, expanding the city's paid sick leave law, and reducing the police department's use of stop-and-frisk while bringing down crime.

"Some people weren't quite sure what to make of our progressive agenda to reduce inequality and restore opportunity, but now, they're starting to see, because politics of the sort we believe in doesn't measure success by poll numbers but by action," de Blasio said.

He called his government a grassroots movement that includes the people its serves.

"This administration is a product of movement politics. The movement we're a part doesn't define its boundaries of its ranks through exclusivity. Rather its a movement of people who share a vision," de Blasio said.

De Blasio gave special attention to the Department of Sanitation after the record snow this winter, and he thanked first responders to last month's East Harlem explosion.

He looked ahead to the future as well, reiterating his promise to rebuild every home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

On education, he said he wants to do more to keep talented teachers teaching, and he says he is focused on reducing the number of students in each classroom.

The mayor also said that he supports reducing the emphasis on standardized testing for grade school students.

Despite his insistence otherwise, lukewarm approval ratings do appear to be pushing the mayor to try and repair his public image. His 100-day speech seemed designed to try and present his early months in office as a time of great achievements rather than missteps.

"I can tell you, in the first 100 days, we've already taken great strides," de Blasio said.

The mayor's speech was heavy on ideological language. De Blasio said the word progressive 21 times.

"You sent us here to restore New York's proud legacy as the progressive city," he said.

De Blasio also spoke about some of the criticism he's faced, saying he is not surprised that he has faced some opposition. He said it is coming from people invested in the status quo.

NY1 Exclusive: Mayor Speaks With NY1 About Labor Union Contracts


The mayor later marked his 100th day in office with another speech, this one before the Central Labor Council.

Outside the event, de Blasio said he's ready to take on the city's expired union contracts in an exclusive interview with NY1.

After delivering the address, de Blasio acknowledged that the city is working with the unions.

Negotiations between the administration and the unions have been secretive, but there may be more information about the process when the executive budget is released next month.

The mayor emphasized that he is working towards a balanced solution.

"I think they can expect fairness," de Blasio said. "We've said all along we're going to respect the working people of this city, the folks who make this city run, but we're also going to protect the taxpayers and protect the long-term fiscal health of this city, and I think everyone in the municipal labor movement understands that we have to strike that balance. There's been a very respectful tone in all of the negotiations and discussions so far. I think people, to begin with, appreciate that there's respect and dialogue, and that's opening the door to finding some creative way forward. So I'm hopeful. It's going to take a while, but I'm hopeful."

There are currently 152 municipal unions working with expired contracts.

The Central Labor Council declined to comment on the mayor's remarks.


Web Extra: Watch the mayor's full speech


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