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Why Bill de Blasio’s Promise May Also Be His Problem — New York Magazine


Photo: Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine

He is joking, however he’s not kidding. “When I spoke last time, they needed a much smaller room,” Bill de Blasio says to laughter. “This is the glory of American democracy!” Exactly one yr earlier, De Blasio had appeared earlier than the identical group, the Association for a Better New York, an alliance of metropolis companies and civic organizations; the turnout then, in October 2012, was 400, and the response was chilly—particularly when De Blasio unveiled what would turn out to be a signature ingredient of his run for mayor, a proposal to tax the rich to pay for brand spanking new pre­kindergarten and after-school packages. This morning—recent off an unbelievable, resounding victory within the Democratic major—De Blasio is greeted by a sold-out crowd of 800 and a standing ovation.

Still, there’s a little bit of rigidity served with the scrambled eggs: De Blasio unflinchingly repeats his vow to spice up taxes, to which he provides emphatic reward for labor unions and better minimal wages. To lighten the temper, De Blasio improvises a working joke. He decries the decline in metropolis and state funding to the City University of New York, and the desk instantly in entrance of the rostrum—filled with CUNY executives—breaks into loud applause. Just a few paragraphs later, De Blasio says he needs to revive $150 million in funding to CUNY, producing the identical thrilled, noisy outcome. “I love these guys!” he cracks. “Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I’ll just say the word ‘CUNY’ and this whole table will erupt!” When he opens the ground to questions, a lady from a tech agency asks how the doubtless future mayor feels about her industry. “I would like to have seen the same vigorous applause as from CUNY,” he says, “so you need to think about that.” But De Blasio shortly makes it clear he’s joshing, that he loves the tech sector, too. Then, a couple of minutes later, a consultant of the hospital industry stands up and praises De Blasio. “You know, I just want to say, I’ve lost my interest in CUNY,” De Blasio says, smiling. “I think the health-care sector is where I want to put my attention after all! They placated me better than CUNY did! CUNY, it was great while it lasted.”



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