NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who campaigned on a platform of helping those struggling, pitched in Wednesday afternoon at a Brooklyn food pantry.
De Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray volunteered at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger to hand out food ahead of Thanksgiving.
The city’s incoming first couple greeted people and handed out turkeys, milk and other food at the Fulton Street facility.
“Forty-six percent of New Yorkers at or near the poverty level right now. Well, it’s quite evident today, what that means today in human terms,” said de Blasio. “One food pantry, one neighborhood in the city, 500 people have already been served.”
The line at the food pantry stretched out the door, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
“Every month, we serve over 27,000 individuals in our three locations,” the food pantry’s executive director Melony Samuels said.
De Blasio will spend Thanksgiving with family. He plans to announce administration appointments next week.
The mayor-elect also said he’d appoint a team in the coming days for what he called “a very substantial campaign” to grow support for his tax on the wealthy proposal.
The plan won the support of more than two-thirds of New York City voters and 63 percent of voters statewide in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
“It’s about taking the fact that there’s this extraordinary public support and organizing it to be felt by members of the legislature,” de Blasio told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.
The proposal calls for imposing a tax on households earning at least $500,000 a year to help pay for universal pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.
The poll showed Republicans are not on board, but de Blasio said there is otherwise broad support for the proposal. He added the poll shows that people across the state agree with him that asking the wealthy to pay a bit more is fair.
“Look at what’s happening in the stock market these last few weeks. Literally all-time highs,” said de Blasio.
The mayor-elect also said reports that he’s decided on any administration appointments are wrong.
“I’ve not picked anyone. I’ve said this many, many times. When I pick someone, you’ll know. I have not picked anyone, I have not had any final conversations with any candidates. We’re continuing the process,” de Blasio said.
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