With his progressive proposals for real living wage legislation and paid sick leave for more than 1 million New Yorkers, Bill de Blasio has shown that he won’t stop being the people’s advocate once he’s in the mayor’s office.
As New York City Public Advocate for the past three years, de Blasio has consistently championed the rights of middle- and working-class families – from fighting for a surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers in order to fully fund universal early education and after-school programs for all children, to working for affordable and safe housing and job opportunities with good wages for all New Yorkers.
As Public Advocate, de Blasio helped stop thousands of teacher layoffs. An advocate of transparency, de Blasio instituted “Open Government NYC,” a public database for citizens to track elected officials’ funding decisions, and he built a national coalition aimed at fighting against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates for corporate money in elections.
Before his 2009 election as Public Advocate, de Blasio served on the New York City Council, where he fought to improve public education and led fundamental changes in the city’s child services programs. During the Clinton administration, de Blasio served under former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. In 2000, de Blasio managed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate.
Why We Like Him:
After General Mills received backlash for its Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family, the de Blasios released a picture of their own family breakfast table.
“This is the first TV commercial I have ever seen with a family that looks a little bit like ours. And it’s a big deal that despite some nasty criticism, Cheerios — a staple on American breakfast tables, spanning generations and cross-cutting just about every social boundary — produced the ad and stuck by it,” Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s wife, wrote to supporters.
“Bill, Chiara, Dante, and I are different parts (the kids would emphasize the ‘different’!) who make a whole. Cheerios is recognizing the changing face of America, and celebrating that our differences make us stronger.”
“This race is a choice between those who will continue the status quo, or a leader who will stand up for progressive values. From quality education for all of our children to good wages for our workers, as mayor, I will fight to ensure that every New Yorker, in every borough, gets a fair shot.”
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