So Long Farewell
For a decade, remaining a close ally of the Queens County Democratic Party meant that Charles Meara, the chief of staff to two City Council speakers, could earn an annual salary almost equal to the mayor.
But if Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is crowned the next speaker of the City Council, Mr. Meara and a host of other county loyalists may be swiftly axed.
Exit Stage Right
During the Democratic primary, feminist icon Gloria Steinem was one of failed mayoral candidate Christine Quinn’s biggest fans. But as Ms. Quinn’s chief rival, Bill de Blasio, prepares to take office, Ms. Steinem says she’s thrilled to welcome the incoming mayor following an election she said reminded her a lot of the 2008 presidential primary won by Barack Obama.
“It was a little bit like a city version of 2008,” Ms. Steinem told Politicker in an interview after a rally outside City Hall this week boosting Melissa Mark-Viverito’s speaker bid.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn ended her tenure leading the City Council yesterday with an emotional farewell to staff and colleagues, marking the end of what, by all accounts, was an extremely difficult year.
Just last spring, Ms. Quinn was widely considered the front-runner in the mayor’s race–the heir apparent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg–who seemed destined to preside over City Hall. Instead, Ms. Quinn finished a crushing third place in the Democratic primary after a brutal shellacking by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s long-time spokesman, Jamie McShane, is headed to the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mr. McShane, a former television producer who left WNBC six-and-a-half years ago to work for the council, has been tapped as the board’s senior vice president for communications, effective January 1.
Outgoing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn today argued that anyone who is not fully “pro-LGBT and pro-choice” should not serve in elected office in New York.
“Well let me just say, I don’t think anyone should be elected to citywide office or state-wide office–really any office, quite frankly in the city of New York–who isn’t pro-LGBT and pro-choice,” said Ms. Quinn, when asked about the possibility of the council selecting someone who is opposed to same-sex marriage to succeed her.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
As he lobbies aggressively to become the next speaker of the City Council, Mark Weprin likes to say he has one clear advantage over his rivals: he will be able to serve in the city’s second most powerful post for up to eight years.
The New York City Council hopes to pass legislation that would reduce the speed limit on most residential and side streets to 20 miles per hour, Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today.
“We are actively working on that bill and our goal is to pass it before the end of the year,” Ms. Quinn said during an unrelated press conference this afternoon before the month’s final council meeting. “We’re actively working on it right now.”
Inez Dickens this evening said she’s still in the running to become the next speaker of the City Council and directed some rare blows at her ally, current Speaker Christine Quinn.
Speaking after a candidates’ forum in the Bronx, the Harlem councilwoman–a front-runner in the contest before Ms. Quinn’s loss in the mayor’s race–said she remained confident in her chances, despite hitching her cart to the wrong horse.
A plan to dramatically re-zone East Midtown has fizzled, members of the City Council announced this evening.
The plan–one of departing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s most ambitious legacy projects–was aimed at transforming 73 blocks around the Empire State Building to allow the kind of modern, soaring skyscrapers that currently dot Lower Manhattan.
The next speaker of the New York City Council is going to have far less power than Christine Quinn, if a large bloc of members have their way.
More than a dozen incumbent members and likely-to-be-elected Democratic nominees gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to press for sweeping reforms to council rules that would reduce the speaker’s power by eliminating many of the mechanisms used to keep members in line.