Michael Bloomberg hosts Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio at CityLab
In an event filled with symbolism—and some peacemaking—Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio at a summit on urban ideas.
“I hope the next administration will be so successful,” Bloomberg said Tuesday at CityLab, a three-day summit featuring conversations on economic development, infrastructure and technology, among other topics.
At the summit, Lhota and de Blasio laid out their vision for the city during speeches and conversations with Walter Isaacson, who heads the Aspen Institute, an organization that put on CityLab with The Atlantic magazine and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
After a glowing introduction from Bloomberg, who praised the former MTA chairman’s preparations to the transit system before Superstorm Sandy, Lhota said he supported charter schools as an innovative approach to education reform.
During their speeches, Lhota and de Blasio both stressed income inequality as one of the biggest issues facing New York City.
“Mayors want to treat everyone equally. Unfortunately we’re born equal but we don’t end up that way,” Lhota told Isaacson, noting that expanding the economy with job creation was the best way to combat the disparity.
De Blasio said that income inequality could best be addressed with education reform, specifically with universal pre-kindergarten, which he would pay for using a modest tax increase for wealthy New Yorkers.
“A strong economy depends on a better educated workforce,” de Blasio told Isaacson.
In introducing de Blasio, who has made a point of criticizing many of the mayor’s policies throughout the election, Bloomberg said he and the public advocate “don’t always see eye-to-eye” but that they shared a smiler stance on the smoking ban, climate change and gun control.
De Blasio, also putting politics aside, lauded Bloomberg’s innovative ideas.
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