Bill de Blasio
New York City mayor
- drops out of race 9/20/19; “it’s clearly not my time.”
- two-term New York City mayor, 2014-present
- born May 8, 1961, in New York City
- graduated Columbia University 1987.
“I feel like if Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani were trying to speed up the impeachment process, they could not do any better. They’re really outdoing themselves every day.” – de Blasio on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning radio show 10/18/19.
Slogan: Working People First
As part of a $100 million-a-year program, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio promised affordable health care for everyone in New York City, including undocumented immigrants.*
He supports Medicare for All but did not provide details on how his plan would be implemented nationally. But in the opening night of the first Democratic primary debate, he and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were the only ones in the 10-candidate lineup to unequivocally support a health care plan that eliminates private plans.
The mayor supports abortion rights but is unclear on specifics.**
De Blasio also signed a paid sick leave and safe-leave plan into law, one of his signature accomplishments as mayor.
*De Blasio rolled out a new plan in January 2019 that he says would guarantee that every New Yorker, including undocumented immigrants, regardless of their ability to pay, the ability to visit a doctor and get affordable medical treatment in the city’s historic public hospitals.
De Blasio told POLITICO he supports “banning assault weapons” and a mandatory buyback program requiring that the federal government purchase all assault weapons from gun owners.*
In June, de Blasio called on New York City’s pension funds to divest from makers of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.**
“What I know is this: we cannot have assault weapons in our society—we’ve seen the devastating impact; they need to be banned. And that means by definition you don’t leave millions and millions of them out there.”
In April, the mayor announced a $14 billion version of the Green New Deal for New York City, which aims to cut carbon emissions by 40% from the 2005 baseline by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
In June 2017, he signed an executive order to hold NYC to the standards of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Immigration/child-parent separation, detention and border wall
The mayor has granted undocumented immigrants access to city ID cards and free legal advice.
He has campaigned for giving some undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children a pathway to citizenship.
De Blasio said politics, not national security, is what is motivating President Trump’s immigration raids.*
*It’s “political strategy to keep people divided to the maximum extent possible, gin up his base and take people’s eyes off all of the other things going on,” de Blasio said on CNN.
Economy/minimum wage/income inequality
Mayor announced his support for 70 percent tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour.
Under his “Fair Share” tax plan, households with wealth in excess of $10 million would pay a 1% tax on assets between $10 million and $25 million. Wealth of $25 million to $100 million would be taxed at 2%. Assets in excess of $100 million would be taxed at 3%.
The mayor is also calling for paid sick leave and stronger worker protections.
He has promoted a tax on the wealthy to pay for pre-K funding in New York City and a millionaire’s tax to fix the subway and allow low-income people to ride for half the cost.
“This is supposed to be the party of working people. Yes, we’re supposed to be for a 70% tax rate on the wealthy. Yes, we’re supposed to be for free college, free public college for our young people. We are supposed to break up big corporations when they’re not serving our democracy.”
De Blasio at first Democratic debate June 26, 2019, in Miami
Education/student debt/free tuition
De Blasio does not yet have a strong solution for student-loan debt, but he recognizes it as a crushing issue that is in need of solving.
De Blasio has called for student loan debt forgiveness for disabled veterans.
As NYC mayor, he implemented universal pre-K for all 4-year-olds.
“Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world; plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands. You deserve a city that gives you the share of prosperity that you’ve earned.”
De Blasio speaking at his 2019 State of the City address
In 2012, while serving as a public advocate of New York City, he urged New Yorkers to boycott automobile manufacturers who do business with Iran.
Mayor says it doesn’t make sense to pull troops out of Afghanistan until a peace settlement is reached with the Taliban.
De Blasio promised to work to restore benefits to LGBTQ veterans.
De Blasio has opposed legalization for most of the time he’s been mayor but changed his mind in December 2018.
He neither signed nor vetoed a bill prohibiting New York City employers from requiring marijuana drug tests.
De Blasio came out in support of legalization in 2018, just days after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo reversed his own longtime opposition.
Mayor has also supported taxing legal marijuana operations.
He announced a plan to (2/26/19) revitalize the city’s aging subway system partially funded by tax revenue from legal marijuana.*
“When people are stopped by the police and they empty their pockets and suddenly they get arrested for a small amount of possession, we need to end that practice. People don’t need an arrest record for that kind of small thing.”
De Blasio quoted on Marijuana Moment, May 20, 2019
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