New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, in an effort to move the Democratic Party further left, has announced that next week he will unveil a 13-point proposition; he hopes it will be the counterpoint to Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, the manifesto which helped unite the GOP in 1994.
Next Tuesday, de Blasio will hold a news conference at 3 pm outside the U.S. Capitol with Democratic lawmakers, liberal activists and labor leaders to present his “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.” The plan would emphasize left-leaning economic policies which hopefully will unify liberals, progressives and their 2016 Presidential candidates.
The mayor commented in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine:
Look, the New Democrat approach, from my point of view, didn’t work. That governing approach didn’t stop the progression that led us to a thoroughly Republican House and now Senate, and a national debate that doesn’t even address the real issues. The economic crisis of today — the only parallel is the Great Depression. That’s just a fact. The difference is, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel now.”
His team of advisors included economist Joseph Stiglitz, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, novelist Toni Morrison, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (chair of the House Progressive Caucus) and former Obama advisor Van Jones.
The agenda calls for a universal pre-kindergarten program, a highly successful policy de Blasio initiated since taking office in 2014. Other items include paid family leave for working families, $15 minimum wage, and a tax fairness proposition (increasing the tax on carried interest).
More than 60 A-listers have endorsed the plan so far, including Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Marian Wright Edelman and Howard Dean, and actors Steve Buscemi and Susan Sarandon.
Before the conference on Tuesday, de Blasio is slated to appear at a Roosevelt Institute event with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)