Bill de Blasio will be sworn into his second term as mayor on New Year's Day, looking to lay out his agenda for his next four years. What's on his to-do list, and what can he get done? Here are five things to look for in his inauguration speech.
NY1 will have continuous coverage of the inauguration on New Year's Day beginning at 11:30 a.m.
1. Addressing accomplishments of his first term
Like incumbents before him, Mayor de Blasio will undoubtedly highlight the parts of his record that he feels defined his first term in office, including the successful roll-out of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and beginning "3-K," record-low crime levels, and efforts his administration took to reduce income inequality. These formed the core of his re-election pitch to voters. But, also like incumbents before him, expect de Blasio to highlight lesser-known parts of his record he feels advance his progressive vision for the city, such as signing price hikes on cigarettes and tax increases on smokeless tobacco products for a stated aim of putting the revenue toward public housing.
2. Hurdles from first-term failures
Will the mayor touch on failures from the last four years? Will he discuss challenges he has yet to overcome, including the homelessness crisis and the ongoing affordable housing crunch? De Blasio's opponents in the mayor's race made sure to hammer him on the homelessness crisis while NY1 investigations and other reports have found violence and other problems persist at city shelters. The mayor may frame challenges he has yet to overcome through the lens of initiatives he pushed in 2017, such as his decision to shut down Rikers Island in 10 years, or his plan to open 90 new homeless shelters over the next five years.
3. His vision for policies moving forward
Does the mayor have a vision for the next four years for New York City? Many critics felt he did not spend enough time during his campaign spelling out a clear action plan for the next term. During the campaign, de Blasio often spoke of his plans for affordable housing, Rikers Island, and homeless shelters. But he did not usually dive into the details, and he did not lay out many other specific plans or target goals for his administration. While he won't be able to answer all the questions he faces Monday, look to see if the mayor provides new details for his larger goals, such as the proposed street car line that would link Queens and Brooklyn.
4. His relationship with Governor Cuomo
Mayor de Blasio's relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Albany lawmakers has been lukewarm, at best, and downright frosty during much of his first term. From his battle with Cuomo over how to secure long-term funding for the MTA, to a deal for the extension of mayoral control of city schools being finalized just before the wire, de Blasio has often fought with denizens of the state capital. With all state legislators up for re-election, will he dip his toe in Albany's business on Day 1 of his new term? He needs to work with them to get much of his agenda accomplished, and Cuomo and Albany lawmakers are likely to pay attention to the mayor's inauguration speech, so don't expect de Blasio to throw political haymakers this early. While the mayor will likely yet again push for his Millionaires Tax, it seems dead on arrival in Albany.
5. His relationship with President Trump
You can expect the mayor to be as vocal in 2018 as he was in 2017 about his opposition to President Trump and the Republican-led Congress. The odds that de Blasio will discuss the world's most famous New Yorker as he starts four more years as New York City's mayor are strong, given that the mayor frequently contrasts himself with the president. Among his protests: Denouncing the Republican tax plan outside Trump Tower in December, marching against the Travel Ban in late-January, and vowing to make sure the city keeps with the Paris Climate Accord standards after Trump decided the United States would begin to leave the Accord. With 64 percent of New Yorkers across the state saying they disapprove of Trump, according to the latest NY1/Baruch College Poll, and de Blasio hammering Trump in his mayoral victory speech, you should not be surprised if the mayor tries to frame his second term, in part, as a battle against the Oval Office.
NY1 will have continuous coverage of the inauguration on New Year's Day beginning at 11 a.m.