In Annual Address, Mayor de Blasio Touts Plans to Make NYC Affordable

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday night delivers his State of the City address at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. (Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio touted his plans to address the city’s “affordability crisis” during his annual State of the City address Monday night.

Speaking at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the Democratic mayor discussed his concern that New Yorkers are afraid they can’t afford to live in the city they love.

His plan includes a mansion tax on high-end real estate sales that would help pay for affordable housing for seniors and an initiative to provide free legal advice for tenants facing eviction in housing court.

Introducing the speech, the mayor played a video of “Gershy,” a yarmulke-clad boy who talked about what he learned in prekindergarten. The pre-K program has been one of Mr. de Blasio’s signature achievements after his 2013 election.

“Can’t compete with Gershy, can you?” the mayor started off his speech.

Gershy and his family were at the address, seated at a balcony above the mayor.

Besides affordable housing, the mayor said he’s working to create more good-paying jobs in the city by providing training and support.

The mayor also made room to praise his efforts to make the city safer and the schools stronger.