Actress Olivia Wilde is joining the celebrity bandwagon supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign for universal prekindergarten, but like the mayor, Ms. Wilde is shifting the focus away from his signature tax-the-rich proposal to fund the effort.
“The progress we’re making on early education and after-school means a lot to me personally. I’m about to become a mom and I’m grateful for everyone – yourself included – who is helping to fight for our kids,” Ms. Wilde wrote in an email, which will be sent to Mr. de Blasio’s pre-K supporters later this morning.
“State leaders need to hear that their big step forward last week hasn’t gone unnoticed,” she added. “They need to know we’re paying attention.”
Last week, both the Democratic-controlled State Assembly and the State Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats, backed one-house budget resolutions giving Mr. de Blasio the pre-K and after-school funding he has relentlessly campaigned for.
The Assembly’s version would fund the expansion with Mr. de Blasio’s called-for tax on high-income earners; the Senate’s version would not. The two must now reconcile their budgets and come to an agreement, due April 1, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is reportedly not on board with Mr. de Blasio’s funding numbers.
In Ms. Wilde’s email and in a new video full of adorable children, UPKNYC, the de Blasio-affiliated nonprofit backing his pre-K agenda, today zeroed in on the bipartisan support for expanding pre-K without mentioning the tax.
“With the support of Speaker Shelly Silver, [Senate] leaders Skelos, Klein and Stewart-Cousins, our Republican and Democratic legislators have taken giant steps to finally make it a reality,” says the video’s narrator. “Help us get to the finish line.”
View the video below: