WATERLOO — New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio, 58, and his wife, Chirlane McCray, 64, attended Sunday services at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
He spoke to the crowd after the Rev. Frantz Whitfield’s sermon.
“Mental health among Iowa voters is one of the very top issues because they are so upset about what Gov. (Kim) Reynolds and Gov. (Terry) Branstad did to take away mental health services,” De Blasio said. “We’re finding that all over the country, so this is going to one of the centerpieces of our campaign.”
De Blasio and his wife said they are passionate about expanding mental health care.
“The federal government hasn’t done anything about (mental health care),” McCray said. “This is a very urgent situation. We’re not going to wait on them.”
De Blasio and McCray are launching a save-life program which would guarantee mental health service to people
“You all know the phrase behind a great man stands a great woman, we have updated that for the year 2019 ‘beside’ every great man stands a great woman,” De Blasio said.
He talked about the success he saw as mayor reforming healthcare in New York City.
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“The only strategy that the Republican governors had in Iowa was to reduce mental health services even though the needs are greater than ever,” De Blasio said. “The national government has no mental health strategy whatsoever.”
De Blasio impressed several members of the congregation.
“It was wonderful. He and his wife brought up some good points,” said Lissa Meeks, who was in the congregation Sunday. “It was very informative. He seemed to enjoy the service and we enjoyed him.”
Meeks and others appreciated what he had to say, but they haven’t decided who they’re going to vote yet.
“Definitely Democrat, but we’re going to hear all the candidates out,” Meeks said.
Tiara Mosley, a member of Mount Carmel’s congregation, is supporting De Blasio, but she hasn’t decided who she’s caucusing for.
“It stuck with me, about the mental health, because that’s very important especially in the black community,” Mosley said.
A recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll shows 6% of Iowans are actively considering De Blasio as a presidential candidate.