Bill de Blasio was back on the campaign trail today, including an appearance at a rally for fast food workers, and he faced new doubts about the viability of his signature proposal, one that would raise taxes on the wealthy to fund pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
On the menu Wednesday: anger at fast food chains, with protesters and elected officials pointing to a new finding that 60 percent of New York's fast food workers also rely on some form of public assistance, costing the state more than $700 million annually.
"Work literally will not pay their bills," said Democratic candidate for mayor Bill de Blasio. "The public sector has to step in. The taxpayers have to cover the rest. So in effect, the taxpayers are subsidizing these industries."
De Blasio, who wants the city to be able to set its own minimum wage and to allow fast-food workers to unionize, was joined by numerous elected officials and his partners on the Democratic ticket.
"It's time to hold hearings. It's time to investigate," said Scott Stringer, the Democratic candidate for city comptroller. "It's time to call these executives to the table and ask them the tough questions."
De Blasio also faced questions about Governor Andrew Cuomo, who, in an interview with the Daily News editorial board, seemed to throw cold water on de Blasio's proposed tax hike on the wealthy.
De Blasio said there's no evidence that taxes drive the wealthy out of state, as Cuomo suggested, and he noted that Cuomo did leave the door open.
"It's clear to me from the governor's public statements that he will have an open mind and look at this plan, which again, is about New York City having the right to get our own revenue for our own needs," de Blasio said.
Also on Wednesday, De Blasio was at rally in Downtown Brooklyn featuring a coalition of Muslim leaders and community groups. Advocates estimate that there are 105,000 registered Muslim voters in New York City, and de Blasio spoke to a number of their issues, including the New York City Police Department's surveillance of Muslim communities and the creation of new school holidays to mark the holiest Muslim days.
"The efforts at surveillance have to be based on specific leads, specific information, and obviously need to go through a careful vetting process," de Blasio said.
Muslim leaders said it was an unprecedented show of support for a candidate.