NYC Votes 2013: Christine Quinn
For voting information and other candidate interviews, visit MetroFocus' NYC Votes 2013 page.
ABOUT THE CANDIDATE
Democratic candidate Christine Quinn has been a New York City Council member representing the lower west side since 1999. She was elected City Council Speaker in 2006. Prior to serving on City Council, Quinn worked as campaign manager and then chief-of-staff for former City Councilman, Thomas Duane. Quinn is the highest ranking openly gay public official in New York City.
ON THE ISSUES
On the low-income housing crisis:
"This is an enormous problem. And it’s an enormous problem for homeless people, low income people, but also moderate and middle income people. So for homeless folks, were going to put a voucher system back in place so they have money they can use to get an apartment; they have an exit plan out of shelter. For low-income folks, were going to move forward with 40,000 more affordable apartments for low-income New Yorkers but um also, with 300 million dollars a year, each year over the next 10 years, going to build 40,000 additional apartments for moderate and middle income New Yorkers. But also to deal with our housing crisis, we need to totally overhaul the Housing Authority. 600,000 New Yorkers, that’s the size of Baltimore if not bigger, live in NYCHA and it is in an unacceptable state. And when I’m mayor, I’m going to fix that. I’m going to make sure the head of NYCHA reports to me directly, that maintenance requests are done in a week. Emergency ones in 24 hours. We’re going to put every request for maintenance online so you and everybody else can hold us accountable. And that’s not just a promise, it’s a commitment based on my record. I’m the only one running for mayor who can tell you they allocated 20 million dollars to NYCHA, targeted that money and got 100,000 requests for maintenance taken care of."
On Mayor Bloomberg:
"You know, as it relates to Mayor Bloomberg, or any of my other colleagues in government, when I have had opportunities to work with them to make New Yorkers’ lives better, I have seized those opportunities. Like the opportunity we took to really bring more manufacturing and tech jobs to the Brooklyn Navy yard. To create opportunities for middle class families. But when I have disagreed with him in these four years or in anytime, I haven’t just criticized him like some of my opponents, I’ve beat him in those efforts. You know a little bit ago, a year or two, Mayor Bloomberg wanted to put a policy in place for homeless people that I really thought was cruel and inhumane. And although a lot of people criticized it, I took him to court and I stopped it. And when the Mayor wanted to lay off 4,100 school teachers, a lot of people went to rallies, a lot of electeds, I stopped it, and that’s the difference."
On the reducing pension and healthcare costs:
"Well, almost all if not all of the public contracts are going to be due, and what I’m going to do is get in a room with union leaders and negotiate them. You don’t negotiate things like that in the press. You get in the room with the union leaders, you recognize that workers deserve a fair contract, that they deserve raises; they haven’t had them in a long time. But you also recognize you can’t spend more money than you have in the short term or in the long term. And I’m the only person running for office who’s demonstrated that ability to think long term with the rainy day fund I created and in the short term as well by protecting core services. And I’m the only one who’s been able to get unions and management to yes and the only one who stood up and said no when we couldn’t afford it. And that’s what we’re going to need in the room. I have those skills and that’s why I’m so confident we will be able to get deals that are fair, respectful and ones we can afford. "
Read the full transcript here...