May 14 2012

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Council Speaker’s Secret Powers

(N.Y. Post: Chad Rachman)

Like a boss, a little influence goes a long way in NYC politics.

The shadow politics of Christine Quinn.

Christine Quinn is the most powerful woman in NYC but she hasn’t introduced much legislation into the City Council, according to a report in the Daily News. While Quinn’s ‘fingerprints’ are on several bills, the power to coax another colleague to introduce her legislation mitigates any backlash from core voting blocs and curries favor with fellow Council members, according to Quinn’s spox.

Quinn’s role as the voice of her constituency is not as loud as her colleagues because the Council speaker’s responsibilities are more of a whip rather than a representative. Considering her ambition to become Mayor, she’s thinking all-city and doesn’t want to step on any toes this year.

Quinn spearheaded only two pieces of legislation that bear her name as the primary sponsor. One for renaming the 59th Street Bridge, the other required the City Clerk to disclose information about same-sex marriage via the internet.

Although the initiatives are not groundbreaking, the power to pass legislation still rests in her hands. If she doesn’t approve, it won’t pass muster.

“The Council doesn’t pass anything she doesn’t want passing,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, speaking of Quinn’s recent legislative record. -NY Daily News.

Perhaps the Council Speaker becomes distant and out of touch with district needs? Or does she influence colleagues to support her agenda for the people of Chelsea?

As a general rule, the Speaker doesn’t propose much legislation, although her predecessor, Gifford Miller, introduced 37 bills.

In comparison, Councilwoman Gale Brewer, Councilman Peter Vallone, and Councilman Daniel Garodnick lead the pack (in that order) with the most legislation introduced to the floor of the City Council.



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