Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his 6th State of the City address Thursday morning, at the Symphony Space on NYC's Upper West Side. The mayor vowed to make New York the fairest city in America. But what does that mean?
While the over arching theme of Mayor de Blasio's speech was fairness, he also talked about New Yorkers sharing a deep sense of pride in their hometown, "Wherever I go, I hear from people who want to make sure we don’t lose what’s great about our city—who want to make sure that this remains an open place, an inclusive place, a place for everyone. We came into office determined to preserve the greatness of New York City: today, tomorrow, and for generations. We set audacious goals, and we have exceeded those goals."
He also spoke proudly of the city's accomplishments in the last year:
- The NYPD has pushed crime to record lows, with the fewest homicides since 1951.
- Neighborhood policing is now the reality in this city, last year, the NYPD made 140,000 fewer arrests.
- The population in our Corrections system has dropped to less than 8,000 people for the first time in almost 40 years.
- Thanks to Vision Zero, we had the fewest traffic fatalities since 1910.
- 59 percent of kids who graduated public schools went on to higher education last year – another all-time record.
- Student test scores are up citywide and every four-year-old has access to pre-K.
- We've doubled the number of certified minority and women-owned businesses and awarded them more than $10 billion in city contracts.
- We have over 4.5 million jobs in this city, for the first time in history.
Mayor De Blasio looked to the future and the next four years. He shared his vision of a shinning city on a hill, expanding on some of his old ideas and implementing new ones. This is where he talked sincerely about making New York City the Fairest Big City in America. He spoke of putting ourselves on the path to a sustainable future; and pursuing justice, equity, and health for every New Yorker in every ZIP code.
To great applause Mayor de Blasio promised health care for all New Yorkers.
"We will literally guarantee health care for every single New Yorker. Let me tell you how it works. If you don't have insurance, it's going to be simple. If you're eligible, we'll get you enrolled in the City's public option, MetroPlus and get you a doctor. We'll get you a doctor at one of our 70 public health centers. And if you're not eligible, like hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, including our undocumented neighbors, we'll take care of you too."
He talked about the importance of having free time and family time, and why the mandatory paid personal time for employees will make a major difference in the lives of New Yorkers.
He talked of a millionaire tax and the redistributing of wealth.
“This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent,” he said. “This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around. We give back to working people the prosperity they have earned.”
He talked about a new division for tenants rights and more affordable housing. He promised voter reform and an easier gentler city, that treated people decently. He wants us to live in a city with trains and buses that work better and faster.
Mayor De Blasio finished his 6th State of the City with this optimistic call to action,
"My friends, these goals are not utopian. They are not unreachable. They are achievable here in New York City. Never, ever underestimate New Yorkers. Never underestimate us and what we can do. Never underestimate the change we can make together. Never underestimate the greatest city on Earth. We can do it. God bless you. And God bless New York City. And God bless America."