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Bill de Blasio predicts 2016 will be big year for American progressives

At a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday,

At a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio predcted gains for progressives in next year's elections. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted Tuesday that the 2016 election cycle would serve as a “real sea change moment,” placing left-leaning leaders in Washington whose policies would benefit the city.

“The American people are going to make decisions that will have a profoundly important impact on New York City,” the Democratic mayor said at an unrelated Times Square news conference.

He said federal lawmakers will debate funding for mass transit, affordable housing, education and other policies that he called “real domestic issues that have gone untreated.”

De Blasio faced criticism earlier this year for several trips around the country to promote his progressive agenda and for his delayed endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. He was forced to scrap a presidential forum he had planned in Iowa this month when no candidates committed to attending.

He said that decisions on the national stage affect policy at the local level.

“We had good news a few weeks back when the highway bill finally passed,” de Blasio said, calling it an “example of a national issue that profoundly affected New York City” and a “ray of light” from an often-gridlocked U.S. Congress.

De Blasio, as part of a national bipartison coalition of mayors, had successfully lobbied for the federal transportation bill that provides $500 million over five years for city roads, bridges, transit and ferries and roll backed a proposed $80 million annual cut for subways and buses in the city.

The mayor recommended Tuesday that reporters read an Atlantic magazine article titled “Why America is Moving Left.”

The piece describing a changing electorate led by progressive millennials and minority voters “speaks volumes about what next year is about,” de Blasio said.


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