Tags: Trump Administration | Bill de Blasio | progressives | Contract With America

Bill de Blasio Planning Progressive 'Contract With America'

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:31 AM

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that while he does "think the world" of Hillary Clinton, Americans are at a moment where a clear vision of addressing economic realities needs to be addressed.

"I have seen some clear signals, clear ideas come out of her conversations in Iowa," said de Blasio on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Wednesday. "I think she is beginning to fashion a progressive agenda. I think a lot of us understandably want to hear the core ideas around fighting income inequality."

De Blasio said he has been working closely with other leaders and experts to pull together a progressive list of priorities, which some have compared to Newt Gingrich's 1994 Contract With America, which at that time detailed actions Republicans promised to take if they were voted in as the majority party in the House.

"I obviously disagree with Newt Gingrich on a lot of things," the Democratic mayor said. "The bottom line here is we are in a moment of history where we need to hear a clear vision for addressing the economic reality. A number of us have put together such a vision; it's going to go right at the question of income inequality, which I think is the crisis of our times."

The statement will be released next Tuesday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, said de Blasio.

The nation's progressives are pushing for changes to the tax structure, for benefits such as paid sick leave and minimum wage increases for the nation's workers, and more, said de Blasio, who added many progressives are happy to hear about the upcoming agenda statement.

"[They are saying] I like what you are doing, you are doing what a lot of Democrats have been afraid to do," he said. "I think our question is, is Hillary one of those Democrats afraid to preach what progressives want her to practice?"

De Blasio said the May 12 statement will offer a "straightforward, clear, sharp progressive agenda for addressing income inequality. Then the message will be to leaders across the country and people running for office at all levels, here is something to refer to and respond to."

He believes that New York City should be one place where the minimum wage is raised.

"We're one of the most expensive cities in the country," the mayor said. "We have the highest cost of housing ... we should have a $15 minimum wage."

De Blasio also on Wednesday spoke about New York Police Department Officer Brian Moore, who died on Monday after being shot in the head while sitting in an unmarked car.

"We need to understand, we literally are in this altogether," said de Blasio. "We need to understand the pain that is caused to a family when we lose a police officer, obviously the pain when we lose a civilian as well. But look, this man was a hero."

He said that NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has done an "outstanding job" to retrain police in de-escalating situations when it comes to dealing with the public, and when a new set of approaches are taken, everyone will be safer.

"What good cops will tell you is they want information from community members, just like after this horrible tragedy with Brian Moore," said the mayor. "Community members pointed out the perpetrator and we want to get to a day in this city where a police officer walks down the street, the community members say, good morning, officer, the officer says, good morning to the people that they've come to know. This is a part of commissioner Bratton's vision, a really deep community policing."

And even though there has been some strain between the NYPD unions and de Blasio, the assassinations of two police officers led both sides to move closer together.

"It's also getting at the underlying qualities," he said. "If there aren't job opportunities or sufficient wages, people literally cannot see an economic future, why is it surprising tensions rise?"

Watch the video here.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that while he does "think the world" of Hillary Clinton, Americans are at a moment where a clear vision of addressing economic realities needs to be addressed.
Bill de Blasio, progressives, Contract With America
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:31 AM
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