|Quinn at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival|
|Speaker of the New York City Council|
|Preceded by||Gifford Miller|
|Member of the New York City Council from the 3rd district|
|Preceded by||Thomas K. Duane|
|Constituency||Manhattan's West Side|
|Born||Christine Callaghan Quinn
July 25, 1966
Glen Cove, New York
|Spouse(s)||Kim Catullo (2012-present)|
|Website||NYC Council: District 3|
Christine Callaghan Quinn (born July 25, 1966) is a Democratic politician and the current Speaker of the New York City Council. The third person to hold this office, she is the first female and first openly gay speaker. As City Council speaker, Quinn is New York City's second most powerful public servant, behind the mayor. She has announced her candidacy to succeed Michael Bloomberg as the city's next mayor.
Quinn was born in Glen Cove, New York, one of two daughters of Lawrence and Mary Quinn. Her mother died of breast cancer in 1982. She went to Holy Child High School in Glen Cove and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1988.
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She served as head of the Housing Justice Campaign for the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development. She entered politics to manage the City Council campaign of Thomas Duane in 1991, after which she was Duane's chief of staff for five years. She 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.
Speaker of the City Council
Quinn ran successfully for city council in 1999. As of 2009, she still represents the council's third district, representing the Manhattan neighborhoods Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Hell's Kitchen, as well as parts of SoHo and Murray Hill. In January 2006, after serving on the council for almost seven years, Quinn was elected Speaker.
Before becoming speaker, Quinn served as chair of the Health Committee, during which she sponsored the Equal Benefits Bill and the Health Care Security Act, which requires that city contractors provide parity in benefits between married spouses and registered domestic partners. This and the Health Care Security Act, which ensures health care for grocery workers, were passed over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto. However, the courts threw out the Equal Benefits Bill for conflicting with existing competitive state bidding laws. Quinn led the council's opposition to the mayor's West Side Stadium plan, helping to defeat the proposal. Just eight days before the 2009 elections, she endorsed her party's ultimately unsuccessful mayoral candidate, Bill Thompson.
Quinn was re-elected in 2009 to her council seat and, on January 7, 2010, was elected to a second term as speaker by the 49 member Council. In 2011, Quinn reached a budget deal with Bloomberg that averted the layoffs of about 4,000 teachers and saved 20 city firehouses that were threatened with closure. To protest the firehouse closures, 15,000 people had marched across the Brooklyn Bridge; the teacher's union had filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education to keep 22 schools open. On March 10, 2013, she entered the race to become New York City's first female and openly gay mayor.
In April 2008 the New York Post revealed that Quinn's office had appropriated millions of dollars to organizations that do not exist, and that the money was then secretly routed to organizations favored by individual council members. In a news conference that followed Quinn answered: “I had no knowledge of it; I did not know this was the practice". Quinn said that she found out about it only a few months earlier, alerted authorities, and ordered staffers to stop the practice, but they did not listen. Quinn hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent her in the federal and city investigations.
Records showed that nearly 25% of those "secret slush" funds went to organizations in Quinn's district, and that two of the biggest recipients of the funds had contributed to Quinn's expected 2009 mayoral run. In September 2011, one of the city council's lawyers reported that the federal "investigation has been closed without taking up any action" but only after two councilmen were indicted at the cost of $100,000 to the city.
In 2008, Quinn backed Mayor Bloomberg on a bill that overturned a public vote from 1993, which had imposed a two-term limit for elected officials, and another vote in 1996 that maintained the two term limit, although Quinn had previously stated she would not support undermining term limits. The Council voted to change term limits and allow the mayor, City Council members, and borough presidents to run for third terms, reversing the results of the two previous public referenda. Bloomberg and Quinn both subsequently ran successfully for third terms.
The Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, among others, denounced this move. The following year, in June 2009, the City Council approved a 40% cut in the budget of the Public Advocate's Office. Gotbaum declared herself a victim of "political payback" because of her opposition to the changes in the term limits law, a notion Quinn claimed was "ridiculous". All five candidates for Public Advocate showed up at city hall in June to protest the move, and in 2010 New Yorkers again voted overwhelmingly to limit politicians to two consecutive terms.
The New York City Council under her leadership has led efforts to make Greenmarkets around the city accept food stamps. She also opposes requiring applicants for food stamps to be electronically fingerprinted. New York State stopped fingerprinting food-stamp recipients in 2007, however the practice has continued in New York City under the Bloomberg administration.
Quinn boycotted the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York in 2006 due to the policy of the parade's sponsor, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, against gays marching openly. She tried unsuccessfully to broker a deal with the organizers to allow her to wear a gay pride pin. Subsequently, she was named 2008 Irish American of the Year by the New York-based Irish Echo and has boycotted the parade every year since, marching in St. Patrick's Day parades around the world. On July 28, 2012 Quinn sent a letter demanding that the president of NYU end its relationship with Chick-Fil-A, taking issue with the stance of the company's CEO, Dan Cathy, regarding same sex marriage.
She stated support for the NYPD's surveillance of Muslim groups, saying: "[u]nless we know that laws were broken or someone's civil liberties were violated, I do not think the NYPD should stop the practice", but "when one group feels targeted, it's crucial to make sure that their voices and concerns are heard and that’s why the NYPD must continue its efforts to reach out to all communities."
Preceding the controversial lecture by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University in 2007, Quinn wrote to the university requesting that his invitation to speak be withdrawn due to the Iranian president's support of state-sponsored terrorism and hate speech, the latter particularly with regard to the Holocaust. Her request was denied.
As speaker, Quinn has authority over the yearly city council funds, worth almost $400 million in 2012, to distribute among 51 members. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said that the speaker cut contributions to his district when he opposed a proposal by her to name the Queensboro Bridge for Ed Koch. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said that after her office issued a news release that did not credit the speaker, Quinn cut funds for youth programs and senior centers in her district. Quinn denied the allegations in late March 2013: "I am not going to apologize ... because that has made us efficient and more focused on the needs of New Yorkers."
Quinn resides in Chelsea, Manhattan, with wife, Kim Catullo, a lawyer. The couple married on May 19, 2012, and spend their summer weekends at a home that they purchased in 2004 in Bradley Beach, New Jersey. Her former partner, Laura Morrison, was chief of staff to former State Senator Thomas Duane.
- Chibbaro, Jr., Lou. "Most powerful" gay politician in the country, Washington Blade. Retrieved on 04-11-2007.
- Clary, Greg (October 11, 2009), "Thousands march for gay rights in Washington", CNN, retrieved October 11, 2009
- "Christine C. Quinn profile". Nytimes.com. 2006-01-04. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- N.Y. High Court Rules D.P. Benefit Law Invaliddead link, Associated Press. Retrieved on 2007-07-29.
- "Christine Quinn Endorses Bill Thompson for Mayor". NYPolitics.com. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- "NYC Budget Deal Averts 4K Teacher Layoffs". cbslocal.com.
- "Christine Quinn officially announces she's running for NYC mayor". NEW YORK POST. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "Phony Allocations by City Council Reported". New York Times. April 4, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "New York City's City Council Slush Fund Allocations Cloud the Political Future of City Council President Christine Quinn and of Mayor Mike Bloomberg". parentadvocates.org. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "Investigations Into Spending Lead Speaker to Hire Lawyer". New York Times. April 12, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "QUINN-WIN $ITUATION-24% OF MYSTERY FUND WENT TO HER DISTRICT". New York Post. April 6, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- Goldenberg, Sally (September 19, 2011). "100G slush-fund hangover". New York Post. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- "N.Y. City Council extends term limits for mayor, other officials". CNN. October 23, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Paybarah, Azi (October 12, 2008). "It's Official: Quinn Backs Bloomberg's Term Limits Plan". The Observer. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Rubenstein, Dana (October 25, 2012). "Betting that voters will still care about Christine Quinn's term-limits deal in 2013". Capital. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "N.Y. City Council extends term limits for mayor, other officials". New York Times. Updated January 1, 2010. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Rivals Unite to Protest Public Advocate Budget Cut". June 23, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Once Again, City Voters Approve Term Limits". New York Times. November 3, 2010. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Quinn opposes fingerprinting of food stamp recipients, New York Times, October 12, 2011.
- NY Snubbed In Gay Row, Sky News, retrieved on 2007-03-05
- Chan, Sewell (March 5, 2007). "Quinn to March for St. Patrick, but in Dublin". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
- "Christine Quinn, St. Patrick's Day Parade: Speaker's Prominence Highlights Tensions Between Event, LGBT Community". Huffington Post.
- Wall Street Journal blogsite re surveillance of Muslim groups, Wall Street Journal blogsite, December 27, 2012
- Parsons, Claudia (2007-09-20). "NY university urged to cancel Ahmadinejad speech". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
- "Quinn, on CNN, Denies Being Vindictive". New York Times.
- Christine C. Quinn Biography
- "Quinn to Mark St. Patrick's Day Elsewhere". New York Times.
- Taylor, Kate (May 19, 2012). "Amid New York's Political Elite, Council Speaker Weds Her Longtime Partner". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Chen, David W. "For Council Speaker, Home on Weekends Is at Jersey Shore", The New York Times, July 25, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2012. "Christine C. Quinn, the New York City Council speaker, in the weekend home in Bradley Beach, N.J., that she and her spouse, Kim M. Catullo, bought in 2004."
- "Building Ties That Bind New Councilwoman Quinn Looks To Common Good". New York Daily News (New York). 1999-02-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Christine Quinn|
- New York City Council: District 3 - Christine C. Quinn
- The New York Observer's Christine Quinn Archives
- Searchlight 2002 - District 3
- Christine Quinn for NYC Mayor
|Non-profit organization positions|
|Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project
|Member of the New York City Council from the 3rd district
|Speaker of the New York City Council