Third Way Statement on Mayor de Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda”

May 12, 2015

Third Way President Jonathan Cowan today released the following statement regarding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda”:

“Some of the principles in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ‘Progressive Agenda’ are worthy and should be part of any Democratic agenda — this nation should make Pre-K available to more children, we need a higher minimum wage, and tax loopholes – corporate or otherwise – should disappear. But this ‘Agenda’ isn’t remotely sufficient to address the long-term challenge of restoring middle class prosperity and broadly shared economic growth. Indeed, this proposal mostly provides a sugar high to Democratic activists—menu items that sound enticing, but fall well short of the ingredients necessary for middle class wage gains and prosperity.

“To restore middle class prosperity, we must do more than make college loans more affordable, we must reduce dropout rates, make college better, and make graduates job-ready. We need higher quality K-12 education and must demand better outcomes from schools. We need to dramatically improve worker training programs so Americans can earn a living in a changing economy. To restore economic growth, we must kick down export barriers that keep our products off the shelves of the world’s fastest growing markets. We need a corporate tax code that encourages businesses to start, hire, expand, and research here. We must contain exploding health care costs so that we have the funds to invest in infrastructure, education, science, and energy. And we must demand better performance and accountability out of government so that people have faith in Washington’s ability to be a force for growth and prosperity in America.

“The basic problem facing the American middle class is that unprecedented technological changes and globalization have fundamentally transformed the economy and people’s place in it. Government has been a bystander to this change and has not helped Americans adapt. Democrats must offer an agenda that responds boldly to this new reality. The Mayor’s agenda has some pieces, but not nearly enough to pass this test.”

Press Contacts

Ladan Ahmadi

Senior Media Relations Manager



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