On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially announced his progressive contract with America, in which he detailed a 13-point plan to fight income inequality. Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, chided de Blasio for not including a plan for ending the practice of mass incarceration or improving public education.
As a result of mounting criticism for leaving out issues that are important to the African-American community, the mayor of New York City has alluded to adding those hot button items to the 13-point plan at a later time.
On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio sat down with Martin to discuss “The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality.” During their discussion, de Blasio talked about how his progressive contract with America will tackle issues many feel have been left out.
When asked about addressing mass incarceration in the progressive contract, de Blasio said, “We’re bringing that right back to our coalition, which is now about 100 key leaders, and I think everyone is going to embrace it.”
“Mass incarceration undermines the economic future of so many young men of color, in particular. I think we have to look at income inequality in a broad context, also criminal justice reform.”
“The goal of fighting income inequality in this country is going to mean a tremendous amount of reform. It’s going to mean progressive things, like closing the carried interest loophole and the Buffet rule. It’s going to take supporting families with things like paid family leave and pre-k. Certainly going to take raising wages and benefits — I’m a big believer in the $15 minimum wage.”
The mayor of New York City continued saying, “We have other realities that are structural — there’s structural racism in this country. Mass incarceration flows exactly out of that.”
“In New York City, right now, we are intensely reducing the flow of particularly men of color into our correctional system with bail reform, summons reform — a host of things — mental health services, and I think this is part of what we have to do nationally to stop that pipeline to prison and then help those returning to become really a part of the economy.”
De Blasio went on to say of “The Progressive Contract with America” in its current form, “we’re trying to start with the core — wages, benefits, progressive taxation — the kinds of things that will lay a foundation for addressing income inequality.”
Watch Martin and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio discuss inequality and education in America in the video clip above.
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