NYC mayor pitches retirement fund for private-sector workers in ‘State of the City’ address

UPPER WEST SIDE — In a week where Mayor Bill de Blasio had already announced proposals for universal healthcare for New York City residents, as well as guaranteed two-week leave, he added to the list of progressive proposals in his State of the City address on Thursday.

“There’s plenty of money in this city,” the mayor said during his hour-long speech. "It’s just in the wrong hands."

He listed a variety of proposals he intends to see through, including:

  • Expanding the NYC ferry system to Staten Island, connecting that borough to the West Side of of Manhattan
  • Doubling the number of intersections where city buses are given green light priority
  • Free eye exams and free eyeglasses to every kindergartener and every first grader city-wide, through an expanded partnership with Warby Parker
  • The creation of a Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • The creation of an Office to Protect Tenants
  • A retirement plan for workers in the city who don’t have access to a plan through their employers

Those proposals, along with those for universal health care and guaranteed paid leave are still only that — proposals. City councilmembers, who’ll have to hold hearings and write formal legislation in order to make the ideas reality seemed generally supportive.

However, there was a common theme expressed by them that underscores that the mayor’s initiatives will not materialize overnight.

“I can’t wait to dive into the details,” said Helen Rosenthal, a councilmember from the Upper West Side.

Fellow councilmember Mark Levine, from Upper Manhattan, echoed her statement.

“The details still need to be worked out” regarding various proposals.

They were among a number of councilmembers who said that now that the mayor, the council speaker and most of the council are mostly in accord on the mayor’s agenda, it’s likely to become law this year.

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