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De Blasio defends Pre-K program after Adams called it a ‘pet project’

Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed back after Eric Adams called universal preschool a “pet project” – and said the program was one of several “profound” accomplishments from his time at City Hall.

The congressional candidate was asked in WABI’s City Watch about Adam’s comments to The Post teasing ex-mayors for focusing on a single “pet project” and ticking off a list that “Pre-K” in an apparent dig in its immediate place contained predecessors.

De Blasio, who often touts the initiative as a centerpiece of his tenure, claimed he was unfamiliar with what the mayor said before rattling off several achievements in his “very progressive agenda.”

“Well I haven’t heard anything specific but I’ll tell you it’s pre-k and 3k. And in September, 3k will forever be universal and free for every student in New York City,” he told host David Brand, a reporter at City Limits, in an interview that aired Sunday.

“You see, I presented a very progressive agenda in 2013,” the former mayor continued. “I said we will do transformative things to help working people and tackle income inequality.

“We added two additional classes to public education for free. I don’t know what goes deeper, so I talk about it all day.”

NYC Mayor Eric Adams visits the Chief Medical Examiner's office.
Mayor Eric Adams said de Blasio is focused on universal pre-K as a “pet project.”
Robert Mueller

De Blasio lists and offers municipal ID cards for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status; Appointed Tenancy Policy Committee members who enacted tenant-friendly increases; Eco-friendly measures of the AOC brand; and his road safety program aimed at reducing traffic deaths than his other achievements during his eight-year tenure.

“But there are many other things. I am proud of the work we have done for the Green New Deal. I’m proud of ID NYC, I’m proud of Vision Zero. I’m proud of a lot,” he said.

In a recent exclusive interview with The Post, which the mayor rode on the subway overnight, Adams said his priority is “fixing this mess” rather than sifting through a few or policy proposals to make a “legacy.” create, a strategy he bemoaned previous residents employed by Gracie Mansion.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) attend a Pre-K class April 6 at PS 123 Suydam on the 100th floor Irving Avenue and Read Books for Her, 2016 in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City.
De Blasio said the universal kindergarten program is part of a “very progressive agenda” he unveiled in 2013.
Anthony DelMundo-Pool/Getty Images

The clear shot at the mayoral hopeful House came after de Blasio – who has often touted his close relationship with and support for his successor – slightly changed his tune after announcing his bid for the open seat in May.

In mid-June, de Blasio joined protesters at a Brooklyn school defying City Hall’s decision to cut public school budgets by $215 million.

De Blasio told HuffPost in a Q&A published June 23 that he “would like to see” Adams focus on “progressive ideas that were his roots.”

“Right now we have very little to do but I think he needs to talk more about it,” he told reporter Daniel Marans. “I want to hear him express that progressive vision, that pro-worker vision.”

Adams isn’t the only Democratic executive who has softly criticized de Blasio lately.

During the radio appearance, de Blasio pointed out what he feels is missing from President Biden’s proposals when he vowed to help shape a comprehensive “city agenda” if elected to lead parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan in Congress to represent.

“But you know what’s interesting [in] New York City, at least we had an agenda for fundamental change,” he said, turning away from the Adams-related question. “Not the country. There is no agenda in Washington specifically related to cities. There is literally no city agenda.”

“Our national government, even the Biden administration, does not have an urban agenda,” de Blasio said in the interview conducted Wednesday.

“One of the things I want to fight for is a comprehensive agenda that needs to address affordable housing, access to healthcare, profound changes in how we travel and protecting the climate, all of which is needed is when our cities become sustainable,” the former mayor continued. “I want to be that voice in Washington.”

https://nypost.com/2022/07/03/de-blasio-defends-pre-k-program-after-adams-calls-it-pet-project/ De Blasio defends Pre-K program after Adams called it a ‘pet project’

JACLYN DIAZ

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