Tags: Newt Gingrich | bill de blasio | democrats | progressives | contract

De Blasio Set to Unveil 15-Point Progressive 'Contract'

Image: De Blasio Set to Unveil 15-Point Progressive 'Contract'
(Julie Jaobson/Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:50 AM

Progressive New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who reportedly wants to be a leading voice of the Democrats' ultra-left-wing contingent, will present his "Contract with America" on Tuesday at the Capitol, National Public Radio reports.

The speech is a play on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's 1994 Contract With America, which helped to give Republicans control of Congress for the first time in four decades and define the party's center-right ideals and values.

Flanked by labor leaders, Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists, de Blasio will unveil his 13-point "Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality," Politico reported last week.

The "manifesto" will tout ideas of economist Joseph Stiglitz and other members of de Blasio’s team, and call for universal pre-kindergarten, a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave and the mayor’s notion of a "fairer tax plan," according to NPR.

The Washington speech is part of de Blasio’s bigger plan to become a "leading national voice for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party," and exert influence in the 2016 presidential election, Newsday reported last month, adding that it's an uphill challenge since the mayor is little known outside the Big Apple.

"He's not a big figure at this point," according to Bob Shrum, a veteran campaign adviser and University of Southern California politics professor.

De Blasio’s plan to kick start a national liberal movement has included trips to Iowa and Wisconsin, as well as a fundraiser in Silicon Valley that sold tickets for up to $10,000 each, according to The New York Times, which reported that the mayor spent a third of the last month on political trips outside the city.

He is scheduled to appear with fellow progressive, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, before delivering his "Contract with America" speech.

"He wants to be the gatekeeper and definer of who is progressive and who is not around the country," New York Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf told NPR.

But his time away from home appears to be impacting his poll numbers, NPR reports, citing a recent Marist poll that found 49 percent of respondents said the city was going in the wrong direction, the first time that figure has dipped below 50 percent since de Blasio took office.

Even worse news for the mayor was that 56 percent of those surveyed said their quality of life had declined with de Blasio in office.

While de Blasio has denied presidential ambitions, he and his wife, Chirlane McCray, are "courting a national audience," according to the Times.

De Blasio gave interviews to Rolling Stone and MSNBC and co-authored a Washington Post op-ed with Warren. McCray published a Mother’s Day essay in Time magazine and did an interview with NPR.

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Progressive New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who reportedly wants to be a leading voice of the Democrats' ultra-left-wing contingent, will present his "Contract with America" on Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol, National Public Radio reports.
bill de blasio, democrats, progressives, contract
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2015-50-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:50 AM
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