Mayor Continues Pushback Against Trump Policies at Cooper Union
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday once again addressed New Yorkers' concerns regarding a Donald Trump administration and says the city will protect its citizens against any federal policies that would threaten New Yorkers' rights. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
It was the same venue where in 1860 Abraham Lincoln argued against slavery. On Monday, Bill de Blasio summoned outrage against key planks of the Trump campaign.
"'Will I be able to stay in this country?' That's what’s going through the minds. That's what's being talked about at the kitchen tables, the fear of deportation," the mayor said.
Same for a Muslim registry or federal laws accelerating stop-and-frisk.
De Blasio says if Trump moves ahead on campaign proposals the city finds objectionable, New York will resist.
"We will use all the tools at our disposal to stand up for our people," he said.
Tools like lawsuits, or even noncompliance.
Left unsaid was how the city would defy the federal government or cope with stripped federal aid, which accounts for about one-tenth of the city budget.
At times, de Blasio even sounded like Trump hadn't won.
"The people spoke one way. The electoral college spoke the other way," he said.
Still, the speech aimed to rally, and calm.
"For many people within the American Muslim community, this whole Muslim registry thing has just been very, very terrifying," said Debbie Almontaser of the Muslim Community Network.
Of course, the mayor's political ambitions can't be entirely removed...
During the presidential campaign, the mayor tried, with limited effect, to broaden his influence nationally. Now, with Trump headed to the White House, it sounds like de Blasio is going to try again.
"He's become the poster child for opposing the campaign rhetoric. Absolutely," said political consultant Ezra Friedlander.
An hour-plus meeting with Trump last week also helps.
More immediately, there is de Blasio's re-election. Two potential Democratic rivals attended.
"Hate is not the new normal in our city," said Public Advocate Letitia James. "And what we need to do is stand up together."
"This is a day that the mayor and I stand united on behalf of our city," said City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
While hyperlocal issues sway elections, de Blasio's national cause may neutralize opponents. So, too, may his growing endorsements. Over the weekend, he was endorsed by former Mayor David Dinkins and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.