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De Blasio Heads To Albany, Mounts Charm Offensive Against Legislature

New NYC Mayor Tries The Anti-Bloomberg Approach In Pitching Universal Pre-K
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ALBANY (CBSNewYork) — A week on the job and Mayor Bill de Blasio took his bully pulpit to the state capital on Wednesday to show that as far as the Legislature is concerned, he is the anti-Mike Bloomberg.

The first thing de Blasio did on his first trip to Albany as New York City’s chief executive was met with powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

“With all due respect to Mayor Bloomberg this is about showing respect to the leadership in Albany,” de Blasio said.

Bloomberg often tried to shove his agenda down lawmakers’ throats — like with his failed West Side stadium plan and congestion pricing. De Blasio’s approach was more like a charm offensive.

“This is not just about politics 101. You learn on the playground in kindergarten how to get along with people,” de Blasio said.

The new mayor climbed up and down the capital building’s massive staircases to meet with various groups of lawmakers, and was stopped on the way by labor leaders from the police, Correction and fire department to name a few.

But his main goal was to drum up support for a tax on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten and other educational programs.

“This is exactly the moment to right the wrong,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio compared his demand for $530 million a year for five years to the demand by former Mayor David Dinkins for a seven-year safe streets-safe cities tax surcharge that allowed the city to hire 10,000 additional cops and begin the march to a safer city.

“It was a seven-year tax that lapsed on time having achieved its goal. We’re calling for a five-year tax that funds pre-K. We will achieve our goals and it will lapse on time,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio’s lobbying pitch worked on a number of people. In a light moment the 6-foot-5 mayor jokingly ducked to show he and the shorter assembly speaker are eye to eye on pre-K.

“We should give the man what he wants,” Silver said.

De Blasio still has to win over Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wants to run for re-election this year as a tax cutter, not a tax-raiser.

The new mayor also expressed support for raising minimum wage and the “Dream Act.”

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