(THE ATLANTIC) MOLLY BALL, November 17, 2015 — The New York City Mayor has some big ideas, but they may be too much too fast.
This past may, Bill de Blasio, the first-term mayor of New York City, traveled south from his home turf to Washington, D.C. He had come to solve America’s problems. “What I’m trying to do with the progressive agenda goes far beyond the boundaries of the Democratic Party,” he told me, in the large suite of offices that New York City maintains in downtown D.C. “It’s about changing our national debate and, ultimately, changing policies.” In less than an hour, de Blasio would present what he was grandly calling “The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality” during a sweaty press conference on the Capitol lawn, thereby seeking his place as one of the principal combatants in the current battle for the soul of his party.
“I think the Democratic Party needs to get back to its roots,” he told me, his words rapid and full of impatient certitude. “We are a party that’s supposed to be about progressive economic policies and economic populism. And we’re supposed to speak for the needs of working people of every background, of every region. And I don’t think, as a whole, the party has done a good enough job.”