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Thursday, January 2, 2014

  • Newly Elected Mayor Bill de Blasio: NYC Cannot Become the "Exclusive Domain of the One Percent"

    Deblasiofamily

    Bill de Blasio began his term as New York City mayor on Wednesday with a bold pledge to tackle income inequality in the nation’s largest city. De Blasio was sworn in following last year’s historic victories in the Democratic primary and general election on a progressive platform. In his inaugural address, de Blasio focused on his campaign pledge to tackle what he called "a tale of two cities," a growing gap between rich and poor. "New Yorkers [will] see our city not as the exclusive domain of the One Percent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work, and raise a family," de Blasio said. "We won’t wait. We’ll do it now."

  • Harry Belafonte Urges de Blasio to Fight Poverty, Stop-and-Frisk & "Dickensian Justice System"

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    Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte opened Wednesday’s inauguration for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Changing the stop-and-frisk law is — as important as it is, the change of a law is only the tip of the iceberg in fixing our deeply Dickensian justice system," Belafonte said. "Bill de Blasio has been overwhelmingly mandated to make many, who for much too long danced with despair, believe again that the American dream is attainable. A dream filled with hope, a dream filled with opportunity and justice. ... Bill de Blasio gives New York another opportunity to open the door of possibilities. We New Yorkers must not let him fail."

  • Public Advocate Letitia James: Time to Tackle "Gilded Age of Inequality" in New York City

    Leticiajames

    Letitia James was sworn in on Wednesday as New York City’s new public advocate, the position previously occupied by new mayor Bill de Blasio. James is the first African-American woman to be elected to citywide office in New York. In her speech, she condemned "a gilded age of inequality" that grew under de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. An 11-year-old homeless girl named Dasani Coates, who was recently profiled in The New York Times, held the Bible during James’ swearing in.

  • "We Will No Longer Stay Silent to This Classism": NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ramya Ramana

    Ramyaramana

    At Wednesday’s inauguration for Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City’s 2014 Youth Poet Laureate Ramya Ramana read a poem titled "New York City," dedicated to Bill de Blasio. Ramana is a youth activist and a first-year student at St. John’s University.

  • Exclusive: Dying Lawyer Lynne Stewart’s Jubilant Return Home After Winning Compassionate Release

    Lynnefree

    The civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has returned home from prison after a federal judge ordered her compassionate release. Stewart is 74 years old and dying from late-stage breast cancer. Viewed by supporters as a political prisoner, she had served almost four years of a 10-year sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of her client, Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the "blind Sheikh." Stewart arrived to a group of cheering supporters in New York City on Wednesday. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Renée Feltz were at the airport to cover the homecoming and speak with Stewart about her time behind bars and her plans to continue fighting for political prisoners — and for her own life — now that she's free.

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