Bill de Blasio on local government

– Cities have woken up. They are in an aggressive posture right now
to create real change in their communities… Whether it’s addressing affordable housing or,
in our case for example, pre-k for all our kids,
or going at changes in how we have police and community
relate to each other… We’re not waiting for a federal policy
or even a state policy. It’s a do-it-yourself moment. – Why now, Mr. Mayor?
You know, is it all Trump? Because you had eight years of Obama
when the mayors could have gotten as activated and as organized,
where the cities were just as much laboratories of innovation, experimentation,
and democracy as they are now. If you all wanted to activate at that time,
you could have.
This seems to be more about what
you’re opposed to versus what you’re for. This seems to be more about what you’re
opposed to versus what you’re for. – I appreciate why it
may look that way, but I’m gonna argue
that actually it was well in motion before that. I think there’s a historical trajectory
that has to be talked about a lot more. The recession, the Great Recession,
defined the politics of our time. Occupy Wall Street, I think,
was a signature moment in terms of opening up
the political process. Then you saw progressives start
to get elected all over the country at the local level when… You know, in 2012 my number one
platform item when I was running in the election of the following year was a tax
on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for pre-k. – Yeah, we have some experience with
that in Texas, in San Antonio specifically where they raised the sales tax
by some incremental amount to pay for full-day pre-k for
22,000 four-year-olds. – And what San Antonio did under
Mayor Castro was well before you ever heard the name Donald Trump
as a potential presidential candidate. When I in 2012 said,
“Let’s tax the wealthy for pre-k for all”
that was well before. – He was still your constituent.
– God help me. Not a point of pride
for some of us, that’s okay. But look, here’s what I want to say.
That was well before Trump. More and more progressives
were being elected, more and more change agents. I think, again, Mayor Adler’s done
amazing things here in Austin. It’s a different type of mayor that
emerged well before Trump.

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