Sunday, August 18, 2019

New York City mayor announces 2020 presidential bid

New York, May 16 (EFE).- The mayor of New York City announced Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

In a YouTube video titled “Working People First,” Bill De Blasio criticized the immigration and environmental policies of President Donald Trump’s administration and touted his own progressive achievements as mayor of the US’ largest city, including a hike in the minimum wage.

With his announcement, De Blasio joins a crowded Democratic field that includes former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke; and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, among many others.

“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands,” De Blasio said at the start of the video.

The mayor then went on to tout his administration’s successes in terms of economic fairness, saying he had waged a city-wide and state-wide battle to put “working families first.”

Referring to “waitresses and dishwashers and store clerks and people who work in small manufacturing firms, the backbone of New York City,” De Blasio defended steps taken to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; offer paid sick leave; provide guaranteed health care, including mental health services; and extend free pre-kindergarten services to all.

De Blasio’s wife and New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, who has been involved in her husband’s administration through the creation of mental health initiatives, said on the video that “people come up every day to Bill and thank him” for the pre-K policy, which “makes a real difference in a child’s life (and) makes a real difference in a family’s life.”

The mayor of the Big Apple described Trump, who rose to prominence as a New York City-born real-estate developer, as a “bully” but said he knows how to take him on and win.

De Blasio recalled that when Trump threatened in 2017 to “cut off our security funding,” a reference to the president’s attempt to withhold funding to “sanctuary cities” that harbor undocumented migrants, “we took him to court and we beat him.”

He slammed the president for his administration’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border and recalled that New York City took legal steps to support those migrants.

De Blasio also blasted Trump for withdrawing the US from the historic 2016 Paris climate accord.

“As president, I will take on the wealthy. I will take on the big corporations. I will not rest until this government serves working people. As mayor of the largest city in America, I’ve done just that. Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before and I will do it again,” De Blasio concluded.
Prior to De Blasio’s announcement, Trump was dismissive of his candidacy on Twitter.

“The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!” Trump tweeted early Thursday.