NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Mayor Bill de Blasio, aiming to have a larger national profile as a leader of liberal causes, gathered a group of progressive elected officials and civic leaders on Thursday to fashion a call for solutions to the nation’s growing income inequality.
The group, which included Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and author Toni Morrison, will reconvene in Washington next month to unveil a set of progressive goals it hopes will be adopted by Republican and Democratic politicians alike. De Blasio also said the group would host a forum for all declared presidential candidates this fall.
De Blasio, a first-term Democrat, chastised Washington, saying “real solutions are not on the table” to combat the growing number of people being left at society’s margins.
“This is a profound threat to this country and its future,” he said. “It must be addressed in the context of the next two years before the 2016 elections.”
The mayor compares this to the Republicans’ “Contract with America” in 1994, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
No specific plans were unveiled, though every attendee who spoke to reporters after the closed-door meeting stressed the importance of income inequality at the ballot box in 2016. Others who attended included Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva; Jonathan Soros, head of the liberal think tank The Roosevelt Institute and son of liberal billionaire George Soros; and Maria Elena Durazo, of the UNITE HERE labor union.