De Blasio calls on mayors to fight inequality nationwide

Mayor Bill de Blasio meets with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Washington, D.C. Credit: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio meets with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed other city leaders Thursday, asking them to take on a nationwide “inequality crisis.”

“There is a long tradition of mayors being ahead of the curve and working for the notion of shared prosperity and working for the notion of people rising together, even when it wasn’t in vogue in the national debate,” de Blasio said at a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C.

The mayor said that the nation’s capitol was “gripped in a frustrating paralysis,” leaving city leaders to address the causes of inequality across the country themselves.

He also praised the virtues of paid sick leave and universal prekindergarten — two of his signature issues — but said he intends to “look beyond the five boroughs for smart, progressive ideas.”

Following the address, de Blasio said he speaks with other leaders on a regular basis, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom he had a private meeting with while in D.C.

De Blasio said he felt other mayors are ready to work together to take on inequality.

“People are feeling this all over the country,” he said. “Mayors feel it profoundly because we’re close to the ground.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



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