NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is gearing up for a new national progressive agenda based on what he’s been able to do so far in the Big Apple, and he’s expected to announce it next week.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, using his muscular perch to try to nudge the national Democratic Party to the left, next week will unveil a 13-point progressive agenda that he hopes will be the left’s answer to the Contract with America, which helped propel Newt Gingrich and the Republican revolution of 1994.
On Tuesday, de Blasio will hold a 3 p.m. news conference outside the U.S. Capitol with labor leaders, Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists to unveil his “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.”
The manifesto includes the ideas of economist Joseph Stiglitz and dozens of other leaders and thinkers consulted by the de Blasio team.
Among the planks is a universal pre-kindergarten program, DeBlasio’s signature policy since he took office on Jan. 1, 2014. Other elements are aimed at helping working people ($15 minimum wage) and working parents (paid family leave), and proposals for “tax fairness” (increasing the tax on carried interest, a huge issue for private equity).
De Blasio convened a group of a dozen national progressives at Gracie Mansion on April 2, and they discussed ideas for addressing income inequality. Among the advisers present was John Del Cecato of AKPD Message and Media, who made de Blasio’s campaign commercials, including the famous “Dante” ad.
Then the conversation extended to others — economists, elected officials and activists.
De Blasio advisers say that more than 60 big names have signed on, including Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.); Marian Wright Edelman and Howard Dean; national labor leaders; and actors Susan Sarandon and Steve Buscemi.
Rolling Stone has a preview of de Blasio’s new drive in the forthcoming May 21 issue, which has a 7½-page spread, “The Mayor’s Crusade: Bill de Blasio is trying to remake America’s biggest city — and he doesn’t plan to stop there.”
I’m actually very glad to see a concerted effort to push the Overton window to the left. Right now American politics seems to consist of “And how shall we choose to punish the poors this time around, m’lord” and a big effort to reframe the entire debate is way overdue.
The pushback on this is going to be enormous, but putting these issues into the 2016 arena is absolutely necessary.
More of this, please. This is how we can help get both more and better Democrats elected at the state and national level.