De Blasio and the mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson,
announced the creation of a year-long task force to "leverage
the power of municipal governments to advance a national, common
equity agenda" at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting
in Dallas on Sunday.
"We are living in a time of rising inequality and declining
opportunity – this is a threat to our fundamental values and an
obstacle to the nation’s economic growth," de Blasio said in a
statement. "Cities are the problem solvers and the centers of
innovation. As mayors, we are on the front lines."
Johnson said that goals would includes higher minimum wages,
expanding the supply of affordable housing and ensuring every
child has access to pre-kindergarten programs.
The mayors of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas and
Houston all expressed support for the idea.
"The gap between those of means and those that are not as
fortunate will only be closed with new, long-term non-partisan
and pragmatic solutions,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in the
The idea that the nation's mayors can be a potent political
force was shared by de Blasio's predecessor at New York City
Hall, Michael Bloomberg, who founded the group Mayors Against
Illegal Guns to push for expended background checks for gun
purchases and other forms of stricter gun control.
The group, which launched in 2006, was largely funded out of
Bloomberg's personal fortune.
(Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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