This morning The Times had a scoop that public advocate Bill de Blasio had come out in favor of the Living Wage Bill in a direct challenge to Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
This afternoon criticism of Mr. de Blasio has come from an unlikely quarter–the coalition of labor and progressive groups that have been pushing for a living wage bill for over a year.
“2013 mayoral politics should not determine the fate of the living wage bill,” the group Living Wage NYC said in a statement. “Bill de Blasio is the latest in a very long line of elected officials, leaders, and organizations around the city to endorse the living wage bill. The final decision on the legislation is not up to him. The City Council will decide what happens next. We thank Speaker Quinn for her willingness to work with us and discuss the legislation from the very first day it was introduced. All along, she has guided a truly deliberative process, holding two hearings and thoughtfully engaging many supporters of the legislation since the spring of 2010. She has devoted a tremendous amount of staff time and personal time to reviewing all the relevant evidence and data. She deserves credit for her commitment to sustaining an open and productive dialogue.”
Backers of the bill point to a poll that came out last week that shows that a majority of New Yorkers support the measure, which would increase the salary of workers in development that received government subsidies to up to $11/ hour.
Until the poll was released, backers say that Mr. de Blasio had been silent on the measure, and they do not appreciate the issue become a political football in the mayoral race.
“Clearly the timing was suspiciously political,” said one advocate. “It doesn’t help to have de Blasio blow this up to 2013.”
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