Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor de Blasio have forged a close relationship in the last year. Sanders swore-in de Blasio at his second inauguration.
And Sanders campaigned with him in New York in the final days of de Blasio's re-election bid.
It seems de Blasio's decision to back Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the Democratic primary for president in 2016 is now firmly in the rear-view mirror. He and First Lady Chirlane McCray are being welcomed here in Vermont with open arms.
“The two of them are doing exactly the kind of work that all of us need to do. That all mayors would hope to do,” Jane Sanders of the Sanders Institute said.
The Mayor’s Office is paying for the trip, which is expected to cost about two-thousand dollars. Three city employees are expected to travel with the Mayor and first Lady.
“I think it’s crucial, instead of cursing the darkness that there's conflict in Washington, and a lot of paralysis, to keep building progressive change on the ground in American cities and American states. So I’m excited for this conference because I think a lot of people who can really make an impact will be there,” Mayor De Blasio said.
McCray is talking Friday about the city's mental health program. And the mayor is appearing on a panel with other mayors to discuss progressive policies in cities.
“That's what mayors do. We understand what the problem is. We understand what the challenges are and we bring and forge alliances together to make it happen,” Carmen Yulin Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico said.
The event is drawing people like former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.
“I think it's a really exciting moment in New York. I think that we saw so many victories, we saw the IDC taken out, and we got a super majority in the senate,” Nixon said.
Randy Bryce, a congressional candidate from Wisconsin who became a national figure when his campaign launch video went viral, is also here. And of course, Senator Sanders.
“This issue of income and wealth inequality it is a profound issue. It is a moral issue it is an economic issue and it is a political issue,” Sanders said.
Sanders’ focus on fighting income inequality mirrors a key theme of the Mayor’s time at City Hall. And when he arrives here in Vermont, de Blasio will likely tout his record back home in front of his fellow progressives.