Bill de Blasio was sworn in Jan. 1 as New York’s 109th mayor in a ceremony that drew more than 5,000 people to City Hall and during which the city’s new leader vowed to make the five boroughs “a fairer, more just” place.
Sworn in by former President Bill Clinton, de Blasio stood before a massive crowd on a frigid New Year’s Day and told New Yorkers that his administration would immediately begin working on expanding the Paid Sick Leave law to include an additional 300,000 city residents, as well as requiring “big developers to build more affordable housing.”
“We’ll fight to stem the tide of hospital closures,” de Blasio said. “And we’ll expand community health centers into neighborhoods in need.”
The new mayor also spoke of his plan to offer universal pre-kindergarten and after-school programs for all middle school students – which would be funded by an increase in taxes. The plan has landed de Blasio criticism from other area leaders, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Those earning between $500,000 and one million a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year,” de Blasio said, referring to the increase that would help to pay for the universal pre-kindergarten program. “That’s less than three bucks a day – about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks.”