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De Blasio: NYC, Paris share common goals

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio introduces Anne

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio introduces Anne Hidalgo, the newly elected first female mayor of Paris, during a press conference at City Hall on Friday, May 30, 2014. Credit: Craig Ruttle

New York City and Paris will continually exchange ideas on early childhood education, affordable housing and environmental sustainability, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday at a City Hall news conference with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"Paris and New York have so much in common" as "cosmopolitan global capitals with a long history of progressive mindsets," de Blasio said.

De Blasio, a Democrat who took office Jan. 1, cited common goals with Hidalgo, Paris' first female mayor and a member of the French Socialist Party, who took office April 5.

"We have the same platform in a couple of ways," he said. "It's really energizing, and we want to compare our experiences."

Paris wants to mobilize the private sector to help in the construction of affordable housing for middle-class residents, as New York does, Hidalgo said in French.

She has pledged to create 10,000 new housing units per year in Paris for low- and middle-income families. De Blasio seeks to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units in New York over 10 years.

Hidalgo condemned members of France's "extreme right" for their exclusionary and anti-immigrant policies. France's far-right National Front Party claimed the biggest victory in its history in local elections in March, although Hidalgo and the Socialists held Paris.

"I just honor and commend Mayor Hidalgo for being a voice of inclusion and tolerance in a multicultural society," de Blasio said, adding that New York is also working toward "a more perfect union."

De Blasio, who studies Spanish and uses it at most news conferences, was aided by a French-English interpreter.

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