NYC Mayor de Blasio addresses income equality

JONATHAN LEMIRE Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, delivering one of the most important speeches of his young administration, on Monday outlined his vision for New York and offered a glimpse into his signature goal of fighting the city's widening income inequality gap.

Among other things, de Blasio plans to ask state lawmakers next week for the power to raise the minimum wage.

"We want to ensure that New Yorkers aren't relegated to the ranks of the poor when putting in a full week's work," he said. "We will send a powerful signal to the people of New York -- that we honor work ... and that we are committed to making work pay."

De Blasio also said municipal ID cards will be available to all residents this year regardless of their immigration status, "so that no daughter or son of our city goes without bank accounts, leases, library cards simply because they lack identification."

Fresh off a landslide election that he believes gives him a strong mandate, de Blasio is calling for sweeping liberal legislative action to close the gap between the nation's largest city's haves and have-nots.

De Blasio, a Democrat whose party controls the City Council, is also making another push for his central campaign pledge to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund universal pre-kindergarten, an idea that polls well but needs support in Albany to become law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is up for re-election, has refused to raise taxes, instead proposing to fund the program by finding money in the state budget.