City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has snagged the only few labor union endorsements made so far in this year’s mayoral race, has also won the first congressional nod from the New York City delegation – that of East Side Representative Carolyn Maloney.
In a May 18 event on First Avenue at 16th Street, Maloney endorsed the out lesbian Democrat whom just weeks before she had faulted for not allowing a Council vote on paid sick leave legislation.
“Christine has passed seven balanced, on-time budgets — and fought to keep firehouses open and keep libraries open, preserve child care for working parents, and save the jobs of 4,100 school teachers,” Maloney said in a written statement. “Christine shares so many of my Democratic values and priorities. But most importantly, she’s proven again and again that she’s tough enough to run this city and make the hard choices a mayor faces every day.”
On February 25, Maloney joined her House colleague Nydia Velázquez and other female leaders at a City Hall rally that called for Council action on paid sick leave, an issue they argued disproportionately impacts women in the workplace. City Councilwoman Gale Brewer’s pending legislation would require most private employers in New York to give their workers paid time off for illness. Feminist Gloria Steinem, who had previously endorsed the Council speaker, said she would withdraw her support if Quinn did not move on the sick leave bill.
Quinn, who said she supports the concept, has argued that given the ongoing weakness in the economy, Brewer’s legislation would hurt small businesses, the primary targets of the bill.
Maloney was not the first New York State congresssional Democrat to endorse Quinn's candidacy. In fact, she wasn't even the first Maloney in the state delegation to do so. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, an out gay Hudson Valley freshman, endorsed the speaker earlier this month.