Christine Quinn is the current Speaker of the New York City Council, one of the most powerful positions in city government after the Mayor. Quinn is the first female and first openly gay person to serve as speaker, which is a position that was created in 1990 as result of a revision in the city charter. Quinn was elected to the city council in 1999. After serving on the city council for almost seven years, she was elected city council speaker in January 2006. Quinn entered politics to manage the city council campaign of Thomas Duane in 1991, after which she served as Duane's Chief of Staff for five years. Quinn later became the Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project and was appointed a member of the NYC Police/Community Relations Task Force by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Question: What are Mayor Bloomberg’s most valuable attributes as a leader?
Christine Quinn: Well the Mayor is a very smart man, a very hard-working man. He brings a diversity of experience to City Hall as an obviously super-successful business man, as a long-time philanthropist, as a leading force for public health changes in this country and across the world. And those are all attributes he brings to the table. He’s also a dad; he has two daughters, that’s another perspective he brings to the table as well.
Question: How do you personally feel about the way that Bloomberg has run New York?
Christine Quinn: Yeah, I think the Mayor’s been a very, very good Mayor. I’ve been proud to get to work with him, to pass some of the most comprehensive anti-smoking laws ever. I did that before I was speaker, when I was the Health Committee chair. I’ve been very proud of the work he and the Council and I have done over the past four and a half years, not just balancing the budget, but anticipating the economic downturn in a way where we prepaid future bills to make sure that the city was buttressed against, well actually worse than was anticipated, but would have been buttressed against the worst. And we’re working very closely with a lot of folks in his staff right now around some of the challenging housing issues in the city and that’s been some great work and I’m proud to have done it.
Question: Will you run for mayor when Bloomberg’s term is over?
Christine Quinn: Right now I’m the Speaker of the City Council and I’m very focused on that and that’s my job and I’m focused on doing it.
Recorded on October 28, 2010
Interviewed by Andrew
Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler