De Blasio Inaugural Address: Focus on ending inequality

De Blasio's Inaugural Address Keeps the Focus on Ending Inequality

De Blasio's Inaugural Address Keeps the Focus on Ending Inequality

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Jan. 1 2014 2:48 PM

De Blasio's Inaugural Address Keeps the Focus on Ending Inequality

The de Blasio family has friends in high places.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his inaugural address at City Hall, emphasizing his campaign promises to reduce inequality throughout New York. (De Blasio was formally sworn in at midnight, when his term officially began.) The New York Times reports:

Mark Joseph Stern Mark Joseph Stern

Mark Joseph Stern covers courts and the law for Slate.

“We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love,” Mr. de Blasio said. “And so today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York. And that same progressive impulse has written our city’s history. It’s in our DNA.”

De Blasio also took a subtle swipe at those who doubted the mayor's ability to change Bloomberg's Wall Street-oriented policies, a major point of contention on the campaign trail:

“There are some who think that now, as we turn to governing – well, that things will just continue pretty much like they always have,” Mr. de Blasio said. “So let me be clear: When I said I would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it.”

Perhaps as a peace offering, de Blasio also thanked Mayor Bloomberg for his "passion on issues such as environmental protection and public health," praising the former mayor's "noble legacy."

The new mayor was ceremonially sworn in—on a Bible previously owned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt—by Bill Clinton; de Blasio served as a regional official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration. Hillary Clinton was also present, along with 1,000 members of the public who claimed free tickets for the remaining seats.