Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lauded New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at the city leader’s inaugural ceremony for his second term on Monday.
Sanders offered de Blasio’s vision of “progressive” government as standing in sharp contrast to that of President Donald Trump.
“In this city, the largest city of our country, the people of New York under Bill de Blasio have chosen to move government in a very different direction than what we’re seeing in Washington,” Sanders said.
“Instead of pandering to billionaires, we have a government here which has chosen to listen to the needs of working families,” he added.
The Vermont senator went on to accuse Trump of “raising taxes on millions of working class families,” though the left-leaning Center for Tax Policy explicitly refuted that claim. The center found that 80 percent of Americans will received a tax cut, and mainly the top wage earners in certain high tax states, like New York, may see a tax increase.
In addition to discussing class warfare — one of the main themes of his 2016 presidential bid — Sanders touched on some of his other favorite topics.
He charged the president with eviscerating environmental regulations, making it harder from young Americans to get a college education, discriminating against minorities, and denying people health care access.
“The bottom line is that what Mayor de Blasio and his administration understand is that in this country, in the home of Ellis Island, our job is to bring people together with love and compassion and to end the divisions and the attacks,” said Sanders.
During his inaugural address, de Blasio followed Sanders’ lead promising New York will not be directed by what the wealthy desire or regress in the treatment of minorities, as presumably he believes it has under Trump’s leadership.
“I want us to be the fairest big city in America,” said the mayor and returned to his campaign theme of “This is your city,” The New York Daily News reported.
“It is a reminder that the true owners of this beloved place are not the big landlords and developers, not the titans of Wall Street and the 1%,” he stated.
“We in our city refuse to be dragged down to a place we know is beneath us. We know that the gaudy celebration of discrimination based on faith or color or nationality is simply unAmerican. It is a violation of who we are,” de Blasio said.
“We know the overt and gleeful prejudice that is suddenly in vogue spits in the face of all that has made our city great,” the mayor stated. “And we will not be passive in the face of regression. We will not ignore or deny the threat. We will confront it head on. To do anything less would be an affront to our very identity as New Yorkers.”
Fox News reported de Blasio’s signed legislation in 2016 that increases his own pay roughly 15 percent or $33,750.
He will now earn $258,750 per year.
The mayor’s pay hike alone is more than the annual wage of a worker taking home the Big Apple’s mandatory minimum wage of $13 per hour, according to the New York Post.
De Blasio has been mentioned as a potential 2020 contender for the Democrat presidential nomination.
Last month, the mayor spoke at the annual holiday party of Progress Iowa, which is a group that hopes to pull the Democrat Party to the left to be more aligned with Sanders’ views, The New York Times reported.
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