Tags: New York City | Mayor | Bill de Blasio | Income | inequality

De Blasio Takes Lead on Income Inequality

Image: De Blasio Takes Lead on Income Inequality
(Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 11:10 AM

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to begin a national debate on income inequality at a meeting at the mayor's residence with leading progressive elected officials Thursday.

The discussion at Gracie Mansion will be about how to make the issue of income inequality a national issue that will be at the center of the national debate and the 2016 presidential elections, The Washington Post reported.

There will be about a dozen people in attendance, which will include Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and author Toni Morrison. However, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not able to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

"As a Democrat, I am very disappointed that my party has not spoken with a clearer voice on this issue," de Blasio told The Post.

The New York City mayor explained that he was frustrated by Democrats running for office during the 2014 midterm elections, who he contends failed to make income inequality a top priority in their campaigns, instead of taking up the issue head-on.

De Blasio wants to see Democrats and progressives fighting for income inequality more aggressively. He cites "a lack of leadership and a lack of imagination underlying all of it," as the reason they have failed to thus far.

Even though he worked as campaign manager for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000, he would not comment on what Clinton should do to tackle the issue in the course of her presidential campaign in 2016.

"On presidential candidates in general, my take is, I don't talk about anyone until they are a declared candidate," de Blasio said.

"But I think many of us feel profound dissatisfaction at the state of the debate in general. I cannot identify any declared candidate who is presenting a holistic vision here," he explained.

"In 2014, many [Democrats] went out of their way to avoid the issue," he added.

However, he did praise President Barack Obama for bringing the issue up in his State of the Union address in January, but disparaged the fact that there has been no proactive action on the part of either lawmakers or potential candidates.

De Blasio told a group of New York City business leaders to raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour at a meeting in early March. He has also asked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature in Albany to increase the minimum wage to $13, as well.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to begin a national debate on income inequality at a meeting at the mayor's residence with leading progressive elected officials Thursday.
New York City, Mayor, Bill de Blasio, Income, inequality
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2015-10-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 11:10 AM
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