July 5 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president on the pledge that he will put "working families first."
De Blasio, 58, announced his campaign in May presenting himself as a tested rival to Republican President Donald Trump, and highlighting progressive social programs he's put into effect in two terms as mayor of the United States' most populous city.
"When we put working families first in New York City, the city got stronger. That can happen for our country, too," he said.
During his time as mayor, de Blasio pledged to raise the city's minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2022, expanded paid sick leave and introduced a universal prekindergarten program. Appearing on Good Morning America after announcing his presidential run, he said these policies set him apart from the vast field of more than two dozen Democratic hopefuls.
"Working Americans deserve better. And I know I can do it because I've done it here in the largest, toughest city in this country."
De Blasio also highlighted his triumphs opposing Trump, whom he called a "bully," and cited a November 2018 case in which a federal judge ruled the Trump administration's threat to withhold public safety funds to jurisdictions with so-called "sanctuary" policies was unconstitutional.
Days before announcing his campaign, de Blasio held a news conference at Trump Tower discussing an initiative that has been described as his own version of the Green New Deal that would impose fines on building's like Trump's if they fail to lower emissions output.
De Blasio's campaign announcement was met with protests outside ABC News' New York studio as people shouted "liar," "worst mayor ever" and "can't run the city!" He dismissed the protest as a "little serenade" by supporters of Trump.
"It means we're doing something important here in New York City," de Blasio said. "If all these people who support President Trump are opposing what we're doing, we must be doing something right."
De Blasio was born in Manhattan on May 8, 1961, but was primarily raised in Massachusetts. He graduated from New York University and studied at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He entered politics as a manager for Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign and the campaign of U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, who later appointed him to serve as regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2002, de Blasio was elected to New York's City Council, where he served for eight years before his election as the Public Advocate for the City of New York in 2010. He met his wife while serving in the city council, the former Chirlane McCray, with whom he has two children, Dante and Chiara.