EASTPORT, Maine -- If you've been wondering how democracy is faring in today's highly-charged partisan political environment, the mayor of New York City says, in his opinion, activism and public protests are a sure sign that the system is working well.
Speaking on the state of democracy in America at an event Saturday to benefit the Eastport Arts Center, de Blasio told the crowd that voters concerned about their political future should take advantage of every opportunity to trigger a discussion that could change the direction of the country.
"Person by person, home by home, door to door, whether you're talking to people on their doorstep, whether you're talking to them in the workplace, in a house of worship, at the supermarket. Every time you talk to someone is a chance to get them involved," said de Blasio.
And de Blasio, a Democrat, says he does not believe, despite dramatic gains by Republicans during the last presidential election, that the country is shifting to the right.
"I do not believe we are inherently a conservative country," de Blasio said. "I just don't. I look at too much evidence to the contrary. I look at too many of the social movements of the 60s and 70s that achieved fundamental change. I look at too much of what's happening at the most local level, and indications that bigger changes are coming."
The mayor was elected to a second term last fall and was sworn into office by Democratic presidential primary candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Mayor de Blasio was in Maine over the weekend for a visit with his aunt, Jean Wilhelm of Eastport.