Mayor Bill de Blasio heaped praise on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) amid reports that he is considering running for president for the second time in 2020.
Sanders, 76, has not yet made a decision as to whether he is running for president but reportedly assembled his political advisors in Washington, D.C. over the weekend for a meeting in which the topic of a possible 2020 presidential bid was discussed, according to POLITICO.
Sanders, who ran as an outsider candidate, focused on issues such as getting money out of politics, free public college tuition and a single-payer health care system in his presidential campaign platform.
Earlier this month, Sanders swore de Blasio in at his second inauguration ceremony.
“From the bottom of my heart, the American political process will never be the same because of what you started,” de Blasio said on Sanders’ The Bernie Sanders Show on Thursday afternoon.
During his appearance, de Blasio said being a progressive mayor in the Trump era in 2018 means there’s a “world of possibilities,” which he described as ironic.
“I think the election of Donald Trump was not the essence of what happened in 2015 and 2016,” he said. “I think what was happening already, since the Occupy Wall Street movement and manifesting all over the country locally—including in places like New York City and culminated in your [Sanders’] campaign—was obvious movement for progressive change. I fundamentally believe we’re entering a new progressive era.”
New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.
City officials have set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New York City’s five pension funds have about $5bn in fossil fuel investments. New York state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels.
“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” said Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor.
“At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.”
De Blasio said that the city is taking the five fossil fuel firms – BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell – to federal court due to their contribution to climate change.
At a ceremony to swear in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his second term, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) held up his hometown as a bastion of progress and a template for what Americans should strive for in the face of the Trump administration’s policies.
“We have an administration in Washington which, instead of bringing us together, is trying to divide us up to appeal to our very worst prejudices,” the Brooklyn-born Sanders said Monday afternoon on the front steps of New York City Hall.
In the time since Sanders attended the inauguration of President Donald Trump last January, he said, the White House began “eviscerating environmental legislation and making us more dependent on fossil fuel and not less.” The Republican-controlled Congress attempted to “throw 32 million people off of the health care they have.” And the president signed a sweeping tax bill providing “the billionaire class with hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks while raising taxes on millions of working-class families.”
“In this city, the largest city in our country, the people of New York under Bill de Blasio have chosen to move government in a very different direction than what we’re seeing in Washington,” Sanders told the crowd.
Sanders also highlighted the mental health initiative of New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, as well as de Blasio’s promise to defend the approximately 175,000 so-called Dreamers in the city who were given legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump repealed in September.
“The issues go on and on again,” Sanders said. “The bottom line is what Mayor de Blasio and his administration understand is that in this country, in the home of Ellis Island, our job is to bring people together with love and compassion and to end the divisions and the attacks that are taking place.”