De Blasio sworn in as New York mayor

De Blasio sworn in as New York mayor
New York City's 109th Mayor Bill de Blasio stands on stage with his family Chiara de Blasio ( left) Dante de Blasio (center left) and wife Chirlane McCray (center) at City Hall.

NEW YORK - New York's new Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in Wednesday promising to restore progressive ideals and end growing economic inequality in America's biggest city.

De Blasio, who in November won a landslide election to become New York's first Democratic mayor in 20 years, took the oath of office on the steps of City Hall, with former US president Bill Clinton presiding.

"We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love," de Blasio said after taking the oath as its 109th mayor on a frigid afternoon.

"So today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York."

As the city's new leader and top Democrat, de Blasio said he would seek reforms so the city would be recognised "not as the exclusive domain of the one per cent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work and raise a family."

He also set forth a progressive agenda that included expanding a paid sick-leave law, providing more affordable housing, reforming New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, and guaranteeing full-day universal pre-kindergarten schooling for every child in the city and after-school programs for middle schoolers.

A tax increase on those earning more than US$500,000 is due to fund the school initiatives.

Clinton, who introduced the mayor, said he strongly endorsed de Blasio's "core campaign commitment that we have to have a city of shared opportunities, shared prosperity, shared responsibilities."

De Blasio worked in the Clinton administration during his days in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Also attending the ceremony was the ex-president's wife, Hillary Clinton, tipped by politicos as a 2016 presidential favourite, and whose successful 2000 Senate campaign de Blasio managed.

The new mayor was sworn in using a Bible that once belonged to former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the architect of America's New Deal reforms that provided a safety net for Americans suffering during the Great Depression.

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