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Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his State of the City address. (New York City Mayor’s Office / Rob Bennett)
In his first State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to tackle the â€œinequality gap that fundamentally threatens [New York Cityâ€™s] future.â€ At the LaGuardia Community College in Queens, the new mayor spoke of the â€œTale of Two Citiesâ€ that has taken root in Americaâ€™s largest city, and he promised to address it head-on.
One of the main weapons in fighting inequality, explained de Blasio, will be creating more affordable housing. He spoke of â€œNew Yorkers crushed by skyrocketing rentsâ€ and repeated his campaign pledge to â€œpreserve or construct 200,000 units of affordable housing.â€
In a break with his mayoral predecessor, de Blasio said he wonâ€™t just incentivize developers to include affordable housing units, heâ€™ll require it. â€œWe want to work with the real estate industry to build. We must build more to achieve our vision,â€ said de Blasio. â€œBut the peopleâ€™s interests will be accounted for in every real estate deal made with the City.â€
While de Blasio offered no new details about how he plans to achieve this ambitious goal, he said his newly-appointed housing team will present a plan by May 1st.
And following a string of pedestrian deaths, de Blasio pledged to â€œend the tragic and unacceptable rash of pedestrian deaths on our city streets,â€ through Vision Zero.Â The mayor, though, made no further mention of a transportation agendaâ€”bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, or otherwise.