Council Speaker Christine Quinn drew criticism at a mayoral forum on poverty Thursday night in Harlem when she attempted to defend why she has stalled to vote on a paid sick leave measure, reported the New York Daily News.
Quinn, who so far is the front runner in the NYC mayoral race, defended her position to the Harlem crowd, explaining the city’s economy is not strong enough to handle the added expense if nearly all employers were mandated to pay workers when they are out sick. The crowd jeered.
The other mayoral candidates used the speaker’s unpopular take on the measure to point out how several of Quinn's positions are aligned closely with that of the mayor and do not square with the issues affecting poor people.
“We’re living in a tale of two cities and this is the world Michael Bloomberg helped create,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said. “The things we need to do to address income disparity just aren’t being done.”
De Blasio, who was seated next to Quinn, also criticized the Council Speaker for helping to pass a “watered-down” living-wage bill.
Ex-Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión attended the forum, his first appearance alongside his opponents since announcing his candidacy. Carrión received lukewarm applause when he called for the hiring of more cops.
NYC Comptroller John Liu drew the loudest applause when he championed a minimum wage increase of $11.50 and then demanded an end to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
“It makes everybody less safe,” said Liu.