NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio began his second term Monday following a swearing-in ceremony on the steps of City Hall.
The oath of office was administered by Brooklyn native and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It was 14 degrees at the time of the New Year’s Day ceremony.READ MORE: As COVID Cases Climb In Tri-State Area, Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Booster Appears To Protect Against Omicron Variant
“By Vermont standards, this is a warm and pleasant afternoon,” Sanders said.
He spoke about record low murder rates in the city in 2017 and spoke of goals for a second term.
“Something big is happening in New York City,” he said. “Something new, something different. Something that has begun a new, progressive era in this city’s history.”
De Blasio also discussed the pride of being from New York.
“Being a New Yorker means not being held down or pulled back by the sad bounds of history,” he said.
The mayor was officially sworn in Sunday during a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. He won re-election in November, beating out Republican candidate, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.
De Blasio became the first Democrat to be re-elected in New York since Edward Koch in 1985.READ MORE: NYPD: Repeat Offenders, Young People With Guns Big Problems Mayor-Elect Adams Will Need To Solve
The festivities were dramatically pared down from four years ago with a smaller crowd, and fewer dignitaries.
Governor Cuomo turned down the invitation in order to swear in the new Nassau County Executive, still he managed to make his presence felt.
“There is no reason you have homeless people on the street in 2018. There is no reason, but you choose not to do anything about it,” he said.
Cuomo’s comments — which zeroed in on one of the failures of de Blasio’s first term — reverberated at the inauguration where they appeared to be echoed by Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“Sober challenges remain. Tonight, in subzero conditions more than 62,000 New Yorkers will sleep in homeless shelters, 24,000 are our children,” he said.
The homeless population hovered around 50,000 when de Blasio took office. In recent years Cuomo has increased state aid, but budget gaps in 2011 forced him to cut funds for a popular rental assistance program designed to get the homeless out of shelters.
Building as many as 90 new shelters remains one of the biggest challenges for de Blasio’s mayoralty.
Also sworn-in for second terms were Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer, both Democrats.MORE NEWS: Con Edison Asks Over 140,000 Brooklyn, Queens Residents To Conserve Energy While Crews Repair Electric Cables
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)