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De Blasio: Mayors can be key allies for Obama

WASHINGTON -- New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said the nation's mayors can be crucial allies for President Barack Obama in addressing income inequality in the United States.

After joining 15 other mayors and mayors-elect for a White House meeting with Obama Friday, de Blasio said his campaign's "progressive urban agenda" dovetails with what the president had already been promoting.

"He's been sounding the alarm and offering the vision for quite a while," de Blasio said after leaving the meeting.

He said Obama was focused on raising wages and benefits for lower- and middle-income Americans and providing more funding for education, which can lift standards of living.

In running for office, de Blasio, 52, vowed to reduce the disparity of wealth in New York, where 46 percent of four-person households earned $46,000 -- or 150 percent of the city poverty level -- or less in 2011, and the richest 5 percent account for 64 percent of income-tax revenue.

Obama said before the meeting that cities are "central to America's economic growth and progress for years to come" by being hubs for job creation.

Along with de Blasio, Obama met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh, Detroit Mayor-elect Mike Duggan and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

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