“Yes! Yes! Yes! Come, come, ready?” Councilwoman Tish James hurriedly exclaimed when we started to ask her about today’s Supreme Court ruling on health care reform before a rally celebrating the vote on living wage legislation coming later today.
“So, today I like Roberts. I’m happy that the mandate was upheld. This is a great day for democracy, it’s a great day for the budget, it’s a great day for childcare and after school programs,” she answered. “So, overall, today’s a proud day!”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was a featured speaker at today’s rally celebrating the upcoming vote to pass living wage legislation, but her speech abruptly halted shortly after introducing her fellow colleagues in attendance when a protester yelled out that everybody but “Pharaoh Bloomberg” was at today’s event.
“Now, look,” Ms. Quinn said, turning around and staring silently at the crowd behind her for a good five seconds.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s prevailing wage bill was the hot topic at his press conference today announcing a plan to fill 2,000 jobs at the future home of the Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center arena. Though he fielded several questions about the bill today, Mr. Bloomberg said he doesn’t expect to be talking about the issue when he attends Ms. Quinn’s wedding May 19.
Ms. Quinn reportedly modified the bill in order to make sure several developments, including Hudson Yards, went through and, at the press conference, New York Times reporter Kate Taylor asked the mayor why he thinks Ms. Quinn supports the bill if she seemingly recognize it would discourage certain developments.
The dust has barely settled on the grand living wage compromise and progressive forces are already mobilizing for their next initiative. On the steps of City Hall today, City Council Members and labor leaders announced what it would be: a bill requiring businesses to give their employees paid sick days off.
“We were here a year ago. We got close, we thought we were going to finally see passage about a year ago,” Dan Cantor, the Executive Director of the Working Family, announced. “Politics is hard, so we come back now, a year later.”
Things have changed, Mr. Cantor insisted, citing other localities that have passed similar bills, and the Occupy Wall Street protests energizing the public.
Democrats also contend that both legislative tweaks and the political environment make things much more favorable for paid sick day advocates this time around than the start of 2011, when Council Speaker Chris Quinn shelved the legislation.