Christine Quinn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Christine C. Quinn)
Jump to: navigation, search
Christine Quinn
Christine Quinn VF 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Quinn at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
Speaker of the New York City Council
In office
January 1, 2006 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Gifford Miller
Succeeded by Melissa Mark-Viverito
Member of the New York City Council from the 3rd district
In office
November 2, 1999 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Thomas K. Duane
Succeeded by Corey Johnson
Constituency Manhattan: Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Midtown West, Times Square area
Personal details
Born Christine Callaghan Quinn
(1966-07-25) July 25, 1966 (age 51)
Glen Cove, New York
Political party Democratic
Women's Equality Party[1]
Spouse(s) Kim Catullo (m. 2012)
Residence Chelsea, New York City
Alma mater Trinity College
Website Quinn for New York

Christine Callaghan Quinn (born July 25, 1966) is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, she formerly served as the Speaker of the New York City Council. The third person to hold this office, she is the first female and first openly gay speaker.[2][3] As City Council speaker, Quinn was New York City's third most powerful public servant, behind the mayor and public advocate. She ran to succeed Michael Bloomberg as the city's mayor in the 2013 mayoral election, but she came in third in the Democratic primary. Quinn is also a regular CNN political contributor.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Quinn was born in Glen Cove, New York, one of two daughters of Mary (née Callaghan) and Lawrence Quinn.[4] Her mother died of breast cancer in 1982. She went to School of the Holy Child in the village of Old Westbury on Long Island in New York, and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1988.[5] Her maternal grandmother, Ellen (née Shine) Callaghan, was a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

She served as head of the Housing Justice Campaign for the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development. 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. 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.[6]

New York City Council[edit]

In a 1999 special election, Quinn ran for New York City Council in District Three. The 3rd Council District covers the Manhattan neighborhoods of Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Hell's Kitchen, as well as parts of SoHo and Murray Hill. Quinn became the Democratic nominee and defeated Republican Joseph Mauriello, 89%-11%.[7]

In 2001, Quinn won a full term on the City Council, defeating Republican Michelle Bouchard 75%-25%.[8] In 2005, she won re-election to her second full term unopposed.[9] In 2009, she won re-election to her third full term with 81% of the vote.[10]


While on the City Council, Quinn served as Chair of the Health Committee. 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 bill (along with the Health Care Security Act, which ensures health care for grocery workers) was passed over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto.[11] Quinn also "shepherded" a ban on indoor smoking at commercial establishments through the City Council; the bill passed 42-7.[12]

Speaker of the New York City Council[edit]

Quinn was elected Speaker of the New York City Council in January 2006,[13] and was re-elected in 2010.[14] Quinn is the first female and first openly gay person to hold this position.[15][3]

Controversy regarding Council funds[edit]

Under New York City law, the City Council Speaker has authority over the yearly City Council funds, worth almost $400 million (in 2012), to distribute among 51 members.[16] The discretionary funding system sometimes referred to as the "slush fund" has been criticized in recent years, with some councilmembers alleging Quinn to have cut funding to their districts as a form of political retaliation. Quinn has repeatedly denied these allegations.[16]

In April 2008, the New York Post revealed[17] 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 said, "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.[18] Quinn hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent her in the federal and city investigations.[19] Records showed that nearly 25 percent 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 2009 mayoral run.[20] 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.[21]

Food stamps[edit]

Under Quinn's leadership, the New York City Council led efforts to make Greenmarkets accept food stamps.[22] She also opposed requiring applicants for food stamps to be electronically fingerprinted.[23] New York State stopped fingerprinting food-stamp recipients in 2007; however, the practice continued in New York City under the Bloomberg administration.[23]

Humanitarian efforts[edit]

On December 26, 2012, Quinn wrote a letter to President Obama formally requesting that he commute Jonathan Pollard's lifetime sentence for providing classified information to Israel. She wrote, "I know I share similar views with many past and current American elected officials," and asked the President to "use [his] constitutional power to treat Mr. Pollard the way others have been treated by our nation's justice system."[24][25][26]

LGBT issues[edit]

Quinn has been a vigorous LGBT advocate during her tenure in City Council. She 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. That same year, she tried unsuccessfully to broker a deal with the organizers to allow her to wear a gay pride pin.[27][28] Subsequently, she was named 2008 Irish-American of the Year by the New York-based Irish Echo[29] and has boycotted the parade every year since, marching instead in St. Patrick's Day parades in other cities around the world.[30]

In November 2009, Quinn urged the New York Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation, stating that "she and her partner, lawyer Kim Catullo, [would] not get married until they [could do so] in New York. Near tears, she added: 'This is literally a moment when people can stand up and say that everybody's family matters, that everybody's home is a blessed place and that everybody has the same rights.'"[31]

On July 28, 2012, Quinn sent a letter demanding that the president of NYU end the University's relationship with Chick-Fil-A, taking issue with the stance of the company's CEO, Dan Cathy, regarding same-sex marriage.[32]

Position on Ahmadinejad visit[edit]

Preceding the controversial lecture by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University in 2007, Quinn wrote to the school 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.[33]

Term-limits positions[edit]

According to New York, "[for] years, Quinn opposed term limits, a position that helped her get elected speaker by fellow Council members in 2005. Once in the job, though, she commissioned a poll, and it showed that the public opposed tinkering with them. In December 2007, Quinn declared that repealing term limits would be 'anti-democratic,' a position she called 'firm and final.'"[34] However, in 2008, Quinn backed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to overturn the two-term limit for New York City elected officials;[35] Quinn stated that she changed her position due to concern about the impact a change in leadership could have upon the City's economic recovery.[36] In 2008, 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.[37] Bloomberg subsequently ran successfully for a third term as Mayor, and Quinn subsequently ran successfully for a third term on the City Council.[38]

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,[39] a notion Quinn claimed was "ridiculous". All five candidates for Public Advocate showed up at City Hall in June to protest the move,[40] and in 2010 New Yorkers again voted overwhelmingly to limit politicians to two consecutive terms.[41]

2013 mayoral election[edit]

On March 10, 2013, after much speculation, Quinn announced that she was running for Mayor of New York City.[42] (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the incumbent, was term-limited and could not run again.) During her mayoral campaign, multiple media outlets reported on Quinn's temper; the New York Times reported that Quinn's staff had her City Council office soundproofed due to her outbursts.[43][44][45][46][47][48][49] In the crowded, nine-candidate race for the Democratic nomination, Quinn was considered the front-runner early in the race.[50][51] However, her position faded as time went on, and she came in third in the Democratic primary.[52] Quinn received 15.5% of the total votes cast, while eventual winner Bill de Blasio received 40.3% and Bill Thompson received 26.2%.

Post-Council activities[edit]

In 2013, Quinn's memoir, With Patience and Fortitude – A Memoir, was published by William Morrow. It sold poorly, with the New York Times reporting only 100 copies sold its first week.[53]

In October 2014, Quinn stumped for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Party. When asked about the Working Families Party's criticism of the creation of a competing progressive party line, she said, "Change is hard."[54]

In January 2015, Gov. Cuomo hired Quinn as a special advisor.[55]

In 2015, Quinn became President and CEO of Women in Need (Win), a nonprofit organization that is one of New York City's largest providers of services to homeless women and children. Win serves more than 11,600 people annually, and placed 750 families into permanent housing last year.[when?] Since Quinn's first job was as a housing organizer for poor and homeless people, Quinn noted that she had come full-circle with her new role as leader of Win. Quinn said she was hoping to continue the good work of Win's previous longtime leader, Bonnie Stone, and use a holistic approach to help women facing domestic violence, eviction, and other issues.[56]

Personal life[edit]

Quinn resides in Chelsea, Manhattan, with her wife, Kim Catullo, a lawyer.[57][58] The couple married on May 19, 2012,[59] and spend their summer weekends at a home that they purchased in 2004 in Bradley Beach, New Jersey.[60] Her former partner, Laura Morrison,[61] was chief of staff to former State Senator Thomas Duane.

She joined the board of Athlete Ally, an organization fighting homophobia in sports, in February 2014.[62]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NY Observer: Christine Quinn Fails to Confront Rob Astorino in Midtown
  2. ^ Chibbaro, Jr., Lou. "Most powerful" gay politician in the country, Washington Blade, January 20, 2006. Retrieved on 04-11-2007.
  3. ^ a b Clary, Greg (October 11, 2009), "Thousands march for gay rights in Washington", CNN, archived from the original on October 15, 2009, retrieved October 11, 2009 
  4. ^ Dwyer, Jim (April 5, 2012). "Christine Quinn Retraces Grandmother's Trip on Titanic". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Christine C. Quinn profile". 2006-01-04. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  6. ^ "Member Bio". Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  7. ^ "New York City Council 03 Special Race - Nov 02, 1999". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  8. ^ "New York City Council 03 Race - Nov 06, 2001". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  9. ^ "New York City Council 03 Race - Nov 08, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  10. ^ "New York City Council 03 Race - Nov 03, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  11. ^ Saltonstall, David (2006-02-15). "COURT TILTS TO MIKE. KOs gay-partner equal benefits statute and allows him to override Council laws". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  12. ^ Cardwell, Diane (2002-12-19). "Smoking Ban Is Adopted As Council Ends Its Year". New York: New York Times. Retrieved 2018-02-23. 
  13. ^ Humm, Andy (January 5–11, 2006). "Christine Quinn Assumes Speakership". Gay City News. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  14. ^ Lombardi, Frank (January 6, 2010). "City council re-elects Christine Quinn as speaker in a racially-charged session". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  15. ^ Chibbaro, Jr., Lou. "Most powerful" gay politician in the country, Washington Blade, January 20, 2006. Retrieved on 04-11-2007.
  16. ^ a b Grynbaum, Michael M. (March 27, 2013). "Quinn, on CNN, Denies Being Vindictive". New York Times. 
  17. ^ Rivera, Ray; Buettner, Russ (April 4, 2008). "Phony Allocations by City Council Reported". New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ "New York City's City Council Slush Fund Allocations Cloud the Political Future of City Council President Christine Quinn and of Mayor Mike Bloomberg". Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ Rivera, Ray; Buettner, Russ (April 12, 2008). "Investigations Into Spending Lead Speaker to Hire Lawyer". New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ "QUINN-WIN $ITUATION-24% OF MYSTERY FUND WENT TO HER DISTRICT". New York Post. April 6, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2013. [dead link]
  21. ^ Goldenberg, Sally (September 19, 2011). "100G slush-fund hangover". New York Post. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  22. ^ Mogul, Fred (January 3, 2012). "Food Stamps Increasingly Deployed at Greenmarkets". WNYC. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  23. ^ a b Taylor, Kate (2011-10-12). "Quinn opposes fingerprinting of food stamp recipients". New York Times. 
  24. ^ "Quinn's letter". Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ "My Winners and Losers of 2012 List". Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Speaker Quinn Sends Letter To Obama Requesting Him To Free Pollard". Hamodia. December 26, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  27. ^ "NY Snubbed In Gay Row". Sky News. March 5, 2007. Archived from the original on July 4, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ Chan, Sewell (March 5, 2007). "Quinn to March for St. Patrick, but in Dublin". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  29. ^ O'Hanlon, Ray (2008-12-31). "Irish American of the Year: Christine Quinn". The Irish Echo Online. Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  30. ^ "Christine Quinn, St. Patrick's Day Parade: Speaker's Prominence Highlights Tensions Between Event, LGBT Community". Huffington Post. March 15, 2013. 
  31. ^ Lombardi, Frank (November 9, 2009). "An emotional City Council Speaker Christine Quinn urges state senate to pass same-sex marriage bill". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  32. ^ "The Chick-fil-A Business". The New York Times (Editorial). 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  33. ^ Parsons, Claudia (2007-09-20). "NY university urged to cancel Ahmadinejad speech". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  34. ^ Smith, Chris (April 28, 2013). "Is Quinn's Flip Showing?". New York. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  35. ^ "N.Y. City Council extends term limits for mayor, other officials". CNN. October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  36. ^ Smith, Chris (April 28, 2013). "Is Quinn's Flip Showing?". New York. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  37. ^ Paybarah, Azi (October 12, 2008). "It's Official: Quinn Backs Bloomberg's Term Limits Plan". The Observer. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  38. ^ 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. 
  39. ^ "N.Y. City Council extends term limits for mayor, other officials". New York Times. January 1, 2010. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  40. ^ Chen, David W. (June 23, 2009). "Rivals Unite to Protest Public Advocate Budget Cut". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  41. ^ Hernandez, Javier C. (November 3, 2010). "Once Again, City Voters Approve Term Limits". New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  42. ^ Goldenberg, Sally (March 10, 2013). "Christine Quinn officially announces she's running for NYC mayor". New York Post. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ "NYC mayoral race front-runner Christine Quinn formally launches bid". CBS News. 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  51. ^ "New York City (NYC) Poll - April 10, 2013 - 82% Of New Yorkers Say Big App | Quinnipiac University Connecticut". 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  52. ^ Dwyer, Jim (2013-09-10). "Quinn Smiles Gamely, but Primary Wasn't Supposed to Be This Hard". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^ "Gov. Cuomo hires former NYC council speaker Christine Quinn as special adviser". January 17, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  56. ^
  57. ^ "Christine C. Quinn Biography". Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  58. ^ Chen, David W. (March 16, 2009). "Quinn to Mark St. Patrick's Day Elsewhere". New York Times. 
  59. ^ 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. 
  60. ^ 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."
  61. ^ "Building Ties That Bind New Councilwoman Quinn Looks To Common Good". New York Daily News. New York. 1999-02-20. 
  62. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Former Speaker Christine Quinn joins board of nonprofit for gay athletes". New York Daily News, February 4, 2014.

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Matt Foreman
Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project
Succeeded by
Jeffrey Montgomery
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Duane
Member of the New York City Council from the 3rd district
Succeeded by
Corey Johnson
Preceded by
Gifford Miller
Speaker of the New York City Council
Succeeded by
Melissa Mark-Viverito