Bill de Blasio was sworn in as the 109th mayor of New York City on Wednesday on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan, replacing Michael Bloomberg.
Joined by his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their two children, Dante, 16, and Chiara, 19, former President Bill Clinton administered the oath of office to de Blasio. Others who witnessed the swearing in included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The previous evening, just after midnight, he was officially sworn in at his home in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
De Blasio, the first democrat to lead the city in two decades is a former City Council member who most recently served as the city’s public advocate.
During his inaugural speech, de Blasio spoke about economic inequality in the city, comparing it to other problems the city has faced, including the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Superstorm Sandy.
"Our city is no stranger to big struggles — and no stranger to overcoming them,” de Blasio said. “New York has faced fiscal collapse, a crime epidemic, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. But now, in our time, we face a different crisis — an inequality crisis. It’s not often the stuff of banner headlines in our daily newspapers. It’s a quiet crisis, but one no less pernicious than those that have come before.”
He was a dark horse candidate just 6 months prior to the election, but by positioning himself in direct opposition to Bloomberg, he managed to swing the vote in his favor.
Insisting that his political talk was not just hot air, particularly on the issue of inequality, De Blasio addressed the issue with conviction.
"Its urgency is read on the faces of our neighbors and their children, as families struggle to make it against increasingly long odds," said de Blasio. To tackle a challenge this daunting, we need a dramatic new approach — rebuilding our communities from the bottom up, from the neighborhoods up. And just like before, the world will watch as we succeed."
"All along the way, we will remember what makes New York, New York," he added. "A city that fights injustice and inequality — not just because it honors our values, but because it strengthens our people. A city of five boroughs — all created equal.... A city that remembers our responsibility to each other — our common cause — is to leave no New Yorker behind."
Clinton had high praise for the new mayor in his introduction and for the political future of his administration.
"He represents, with his family, the future of our city and the future of our country," Clinton said.
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