De Blasio looks to help 'everyday people' of New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gives the State of the City address at La Guardia Community College on 10 February 2014 Bill de Blasio's policies are at odds with some fellow Democrats - including plans to raise some taxes

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It was LaGuardia Community College, scrubbed up for the day, but well-worn and rather ordinary, that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chose for his first State of the City address.

The site was rather different from the glamorous venue picked by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his last such speech.

The new mayor's choice is deliberate: if the world's most celebrated city is a heady mixture of grit and glitz, Mr de Blasio is insisting some of the stardust has to rub off on those he calls "everyday people".

Mr de Blasio's rhetoric is uncompromising - he warns that New York faces a crisis of inequality, that while Wall Street has bounced back to new highs after the recession, the ladder to the American dream has been pulled out of sight for many Americans.

In his speech, he rejected the idea that he is sowing the seeds of class war but demanded that the work of all should be valued, not just that of those at the top.

There is policy meat on these political bones - he will insist that property developers build cheaper homes alongside luxury ones.

There's a promise to raise the minimum wage and for a tax rise on the wealthy to pay for preschool education. A pledge too, to allow illegal immigrants to flourish, and not be forced to live in the shadows - something he repeated in Spanish.

He made clear that what he called the "broken policing policy" of stop-and-frisk would end.

But he also admitted that doing the central economic part of all this in a fiscally responsible way would be hard.

The BBC spoke to New Yorkers in the Bronx to find out how they think a shift in policing will impact their lives

His promise to raise taxes puts him head-to-head with Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and presumably many of the most powerful people in the city. As President Barack Obama has found out, even fairly modest commitments can be difficult to deliver.

Although New York has been a Democratic city for the last 20 years, it has voted for pragmatic mayors friendly to finance, rather than idealists. Mr de Blasio is trying to break that mould.

There's a lot of interest in what his project might mean, both in the wider US and in the UK, and whether it heralds a political new wave of activism.

The left would argue that his election means that a radical agenda can woo the voters. But the real test is whether he can deliver that for his supporters without unduly dismaying the doubters.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    65Germany is just angry right now because the US is better at spying on it than it is at spying on the US and because a US assistant Secretary of State said "bleep the EU"

    In this case MK is right.There is no other engine of wealth that can remotely compare with American capitalism for creating wealth.It was the reason the industrial revolution succeeded and modern management and organization

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    ref #63 Stealing from the rich to give to Labor union is not Robin hood its called extortion
    ref #65
    Bolvarian thuggiers are those nations like Venezuela, nolivia and others who steal land and property from private companies and beat up minorities. Boliviar was a thug himself. You might want to learn some history

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    61 Magic

    Your comparisons are puerile - what have any of them to do with the greed of the few (and what are Bolvarian thugguries?)

    And what a sad day when BBC moderators remove a quote from Spiegel, a highly respected journal, regarding American capitalism!

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Sieu: they are not good places to live or work

    Cities are just very politically polarized towards Democrats
    and intolerant of anyone who is not a Democrat

    With NYC Mayor Gov Cuomo saying something like non-Democrats are not welcome in NYC and De Blasio saying he is going to boycott America's much loved St Patty's Day Parade
    it is a very worrisome sign for USA's future

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    De Blasio is the "Robin Hood" of our times. What happened to following the Consititution of your country. Why are the rights of some more important than the rights of others?

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". Samuel Johnson Sept 20 1777"

    If a man is not tired of London,he has not got a life,Phffft Feb 11 2014.

    Apologies to all Londoners, from a country bumpkin.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    ref #59

    Capitalism is what makes America and most western countries great. It also is the reason for most innovation and progress. compare it to the alternatives: Communism , Ilsamic theocracies, idelogical dictatorship or Bolvarian thugguries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    "Actually I'm tired of New York City myself and of all cities."
    You missed a comma out.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    ref #49
    Anyone who has seen or heard De Blasio speeches can see he does not care for everyone. If you have been sucessful he is not for you. if you are non union he is not for you. If you are for Law and Oder he is not for you

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    ref #51
    Republicans have opposed efforts to give every American a fair chance
    Absolutley wrong, the Dems want to punish the working person and make it hard for her and him to suceed. Republicans want to lower taxes and govt regulation allow free competition. Example in NYC you can have a minor electircal hook up that a 10 year old could do. you are required to hire a mafia electrician.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Thanks for your concern, but dont take your eye off the ball.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    sieuarlu @40,47
    "cities should be obsolete"

    Good to think of you enjoying some (rural) retirement, 14 years last in suburb or city, trumpeting US as exceptional but self-awareness retained, here so far as to recognise problems in that most emblematic of creations, no more than five centuries old but 'obsolete', the US city.

    A warning though. To fail in city-life may be to fail in 'civilisation'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Whenever a Democrat says "ordinary people" he is talking about people who "need" to have their rent paid with somebody else's earnings, who "need" to have their food paid for with somebody else's earnings, who "need" to have their health care paid with somebody else's earnings, who "need" to have their retirement paid with somebody else's earnings, etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    41 Magic

    "I see Jhonny is still on his spelling kick"

    Not a kick but adeqate spelling stops us from writing gobbledygook as in:

    "when there is a victims of crime due to the ending of stop and frisk"

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    From the news I've read, London should be spending its money on flood prevention. The water along the Thames is rising. Where and when will it stop?

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Republicans have to decide which America they want. One that once the envy of the world for its vibrant middle-class while there are still a handful billionaires & millionaires or one like most third world countries where a handful are filthy rich & the vast majority live in abject poverty. Republicans have opposed efforts to give every American a fair chance & call it socialism or redistribution

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    "When a man is tired of New York City, he is tired of life"
    Plagiarism at it's very worst, it's, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". Samuel Johnson Sept 20 1777
    But you already knew that, didn't you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    "get married"

    As I read Mark, the call of Mr de Blasio is to 'get related', NYC to come together for the good of all, necessarily addressing specific grievances including those more vocal in what can appear to be more aggressive self-defence.

    UK Lords narrowly blocked all-school relationship defence teaching, excuses: teachers unready, parents offended. Hope NYC more enlightened

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    "Is that a Brit crying "sarcasm?"
    Sure, but with a new alias.

    "The new policy was enacted to offset same-sex couples' higher health insurance costs."
    Why did they have higher health insurance costs in the first place? I only ask because this is an alien concept to my non-discriminating NHS way of thinking.


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