NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Saying he was going to ask more of the wealthy, Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in as New York's 109th mayor.
De Blasio succeeds Mike Bloomberg, who served three four-year terms, covering the period of New York's recovery from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
The new mayor is the first Democrat to lead the city in 20 years. David Dinkins, the last Democrat to be mayor, was on the platform for the ceremonial swearing-in at City Hall at midday. De Blasio was officially sworn-in by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman just after midnight in front of his Brooklyn home.
In the City Hall ceremony, President Bill Clinton administered the oath of office as de Blasio's family, Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looked on. Then the new mayor laid out his plans for the city, including his desire to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor, in his inaugural address.
"When I said we would take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities, I meant it," de Blasio said. "And we will do it. I will honor the faith and trust you have placed in me. And we will give life to the hope of so many in our city. We will succeed as One City."
De Blasio said the wealthy need to be prepared to pay more in taxes. "We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K, and after-school programs for every middle school student," he said. "We do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories."
The mayor emphasized that the tax increase for the wealthy would be "little," coming to about $3 a day for someone earning between $500,000 and $1 million a year.
He said he would push to require large developers to build affordable housing. "We'll fight to stem the tide of hospital closures," the mayor said. "And we'll expand community health centers into neighborhoods in need, so that New Yorkers 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. We won't wait. We'll do it now."
De Blasio noted that the city has confronted many challenges. "New York has faced fiscal collapse, a crime epidemic, terrorist attacks and natural disasters," he said. "But now, in our time, we face a different crisis -- an inequality crisis. It's not often the stuff of banner headlines in our daily newspapers. It's a quiet crisis, but one no less pernicious than those that have come before.
"Its urgency is read on the faces of our neighbors and their children, as families struggle to make it against increasingly long odds. To tackle a challenge this daunting, we need a dramatic new approach -- rebuilding our communities from the bottom-up, from the neighborhoods up. And just like before, the world will watch as we succeed. All along the way, we will remember what makes New York, New York.
"A city that fights injustice and inequality -- not just because it honors our values, but because it strengthens our people. A city of five boroughs -- all created equal. Black, white, Latino, Asian, gay, straight, old, young, rich, middle class, and poor. A city that remembers our responsibility to each other -- our common cause -- is to leave no New Yorker behind."He concluded by saying: "Working together, we will make this One City. And that mission - our march toward a fairer, more just, more progressive place, our march to keep the promise of New York alive for the next generation. It begins today."