New York’s new Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio has been sworn in promising to restore progressive ideals and end growing economic inequality in America’s biggest city.
De Blasio, 52, who in November won a landslide election to become New York’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years, took the oath of office one minute after midnight during a ceremony in front of his Brooklyn home, flanked by his wife Chirlane and their two teenaged children.
“This is the beginning of a road we will travel together,” he told a few dozen supporters gathered outside his home, during a short speech ahead of his formal swearing in ceremony later on Wednesday.
The modest oath swearing ceremony was in stark contrast with the inauguration for his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, who in 2002 was sworn in in Times Square just after midnight amid confetti and a massive swarm of revellers.
More than a decade later, the brash billionaire concluded his 12-year reign on Tuesday, ending an era that heralded major changes for America’s largest city, but that also deepened the schism between rich and poor.
The New York mayor’s night-time oath traditionally is followed by a mid-day affair on the steps of City Hall.
De Blasio’s second oath took place at midday on Wednesday, with former US president Bill Clinton presiding.
De Blasio worked for the Clinton administration during his days in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Also attending was the former president’s wife, Hillary Clinton, tipped by politicos as a 2016 presidential favourite.
De Blasio helped manage Hillary Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign.
A staunch liberal, de Blasio has emphasised his desire to establish a progressive administration.