Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his first State of the City address at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, on Monday.
He offered no apologies for a clearly progressive agenda "that is fiscally responsible," in the context of "the New York City that we live in today."
"We're in the midst of a budgetary challenge that's literally unprecedented. We're faced with a federal and government gridlock that has never been more severe. The state budget contains many unanswered questions. When you take all these factors into account, we're facing an unchartered path," de Blasio said.
He listed access to healthcare, quality education, income equality and affordable housing as legislative priorities.
The mayor opened by ticking off a list of his accomplishments so far in his first month, including:
- Working with the City Council to pass a paid sick leave bill
- Putting into effect his "Vision Zero" plan of new policies to end the rash of pedestrian deaths on city streets
- Working in tandem with the DOT, FDNY, NYPD and EMF to manage transit and cleanup through the past three snowstorms.
- Urging Albany to grant New York discretionary power to raise its own minimum wage
He also listed his short-term goals for the coming year, including
- Increasing the number of minimum wage jobs available to New Yorkers
- Increasing the affordable housing stock, a plan that will be released by May 1 to provide 400,000- 500,000 additional New Yorkers will have access to affordable housing
- Protecting the nearly half-million undocumented New Yorkers
- Issuing a municipal I.D. cards to all New Yorkers this year, regardless of immigration status
- Improving job training and career-prep programs and raising taxes on the rich to pay for universal prekindergarten.
Together, the proposals will "lay the foundation now for the strength and stability of New York's future — a future of greater equality and opportunity," de Blasio said.
"We demand a city that lifts the floor for those struggling day to day, that offers every New Yorker a fair shot, because that is the city that we all signed up for."