By Anna Jaffray
Irish-American lesbian and current Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, has recently taken the lead as the Democratic frontrunner in the race for Mayor of New York.
Set to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Quinn has broken the tradition of political candidates before her, and it seems New York approves. It has been over thirty years since New York had an Irish-American mayor. But if Quinn secures the position, she will also be the first female and lesbian mayor in the Big Apple.
Quinn is up against Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Republican favorite, and has surpassed him by 13 points, according to the New York Post.
Quinn is currently Speaker of the New York City Council, elected to the position in 2006. She has balanced the City budgets to reduce government spending, and has managed to prevent firehouse closures, layoffs of teachers, and core budget cuts according to New York City’s website.
Much of Quinn’s work on the City Council has focused on job creation, small business growth, protection of affordable housing, reproductive health clinic access, decreasing hate crimes, and for the protection of education.
When speaking with dot429 in an interview, Quinn said on her campaign for Speaker, “I was the dark horse in the race, I was not the likely candidate to win…but I decided I was going to run and we had a plan. I was surprised I won…and then again I wasn’t surprised I won, because we worked incredibly hard.” You can watch dot429’s full interview with Speaker Quinn below.
On the subject of Obama’s campaign to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Quinn said, “it’s a terrible law for America to have on the books. I think what the President did recently was unbelievable. For the President of the United States to tell the Department of Justice, ‘don’t defend a law,’ is extraordinary…What he did was an enormous step…but the goal is ultimately to have us be exactly the same in the entire United States.”
Quinn, born in Glen Cove, New York, graduated from Trinity College in 1988. Her other credentials include head of Housing Justice Campaign for the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development; was Thomas Duane’s Chief of Staff; 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 under Rudy Giuliani.
Quinn looks forward to marrying her longtime girlfriend, Kim Catullo, in June of this year.
To learn more about Christine Quinn, visit her profile on the New York City Council’s page here.