With the eyes of the soccer world on City Hall on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray were at the center of the celebration.

"That was a moment of unity, that was a moment where all the good in our city, all the good in our nation, you could feel it," de Blasio said during the ceremony.

And the lines between official government work and political campaigning were at times blurred.

"I want to speak to you not just as mayor of New York City; I want to speak to you as a candidate for president," de Blasio told reporters.

The mayor, appearing on national television from City Hall, announced his second presidential campaign proposal less than an hour before joining the women's team along the parade route.

"If I were president I would insist that Congress pass an amendment to the Amateur Sports Act, requiring equal pay," he said in an interview on CNN.

Should Congress fail to act, he'd do it with the stroke of a pen. "As president, I would get those laws passed or I would use an executive order to get the job done," de Blasio said while speaking to reporters.

Pay equity has been the clarion call of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. Since winning their last World Cup title four years ago, the players have been demanding to be paid the same as their male counterparts. Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe has become the face of the movement.

"It's time to come together!" Rapinoe said during the celebrations. "This conversation is at the next step."

But in recent days, de Blasio has faced questions about pay equity in his own administration. A recent report found many of his cabinet's highest-ranking women make less than other high-ranking commissioners.

"The numbers are so clear. We have an administration that is over 50 percent women in the top positions, absolute equity in the top positions," de Blasio said.

The parade also provided the mayor a chance to hand out perks to potential campaign donors. As first reported by the website THE CITY, out of more than 3,850 tickets for the City Hall plaza ceremony, 250 of them were shared through The Mayor's Fund, the nonprofit fundraising arm of City Hall.

De Blasio is hoping to ride the ticker tape parade wave as he campaigns in Iowa this weekend. This time he'll have two new policy proposals to talk to voters about.


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