With his inauguration as New York City’s new mayor on New Years Day, progressive eyes across the country are now keenly focused on Mr. Bill De Blasio, waiting to see if his promises to tackle “inequality” can be realized in the city that has long coddled Wall Street banks and powerful elites at the expense of those with less.

Voicing his continued commitment “to a new progressive direction” in his inaugural speech in Brooklyn on Wednesday, De Blasio did not shy away from his growing role as a bellwether in the national conversation about the political strength of progressive populism.

He vowed to fight for key parts of his campaign agenda, including raising taxes on the city’s wealthiest in order to pay for a pre-K education program, expand the Paid Sick Leave Law for all workers, end the so-called “stop-and-frisk” program which he called an affront to the dignity of the city’s minorities and youth, and push for more affordable housing across the city’s boroughs.

In the most lofty part of his speech, De Blasio declared that beyond the basic requirements of municipal government, his administration would push a more far-reaching agenda and harkened back to other historical moments in which progressive policies were ascendent. He said:

Whether or not De Blasio can make progress on his “progressive agenda,” of course, remains to be seen. Flanked by Governor Andrew Cuomo and both Hillary and Bill Clinton (the latter swore him in as mayor), the inauguration was not devoid of reminders that the most pro-Wall Street faction of the Democratic Party was well represented.

As the New York Time’s Michael Powell writes:

Touching on the national implications of De Blasio’s firm commitments to a progressive agenda in stark contrast to the status quo, the Guardian adds:

And Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne uses De Blasio’s “unabashed attack on inequality” in his inaugural speech to make larger pronouncements about the progressive populist groundswell being felt nationwide:

It seems that in 2014, both in New York City and across the country, is whether the left can not only win a few elections here or there, but whether or not they can create enough grassroots political power to see their proposals for truly progressive change take hold.


Click Here: cd universidad catolica

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.