Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Quinn defends Bloomberg at rally
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made a dramatic exit from a news conference Monday heralding the expected passage of the city's living wage bill when a member of the crowd criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who has promised to veto the bill - by calling him a "pharaoh."
"In a democracy, people have the right to have different views, and we do not have the right to then call them names," she said in videos posted online.
The bill requires businesses that receive major tax breaks from the city to pay workers at least $10 an hour on economic development projects. Bloomberg has threatened to sue the City Council if they overturn his expected veto.
"Congratulations on the bill," Quinn said as she left. "I'm not going to participate in name calling."
From the NY Times:
The City Council passed a small so-called living wage bhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifill on Monday, and the accompanying language, in classic New York style, was gloriously excessive.
The measure, Speaker Christine C. Quinn and her Council and labor allies proclaimed, would put in place the most extensive, most ambitious, “most impactful” (a leader in 2012’s ugliest adjective of the year contest) living wage law in the country.
As revolutions go, however, this bill falls short of the Bolsheviks’ storming the Winter Palace.
Ms. Quinn spent months trimming and cutting the bill down to the size of a hat box. In the end, 500 workers in city-subsidized projects of a certain size under certain conditions in certain places will gain the right to make $10 an hour plus health benefits, or $11.50 an hour without.
Greg David, a business-friendly columnist at Crain’s New York, took note of Ms. Quinn’s handiwork and did the math: The bill, he noted, would affect 0.013 percent of the jobs in the city.
It’s to take nothing away from those lucky New Yorkers to note that this is one of those moments in which symbolism and subtext trump text.