Supporting Christine Quinn Is Not as Important as Supporting NYC's Working Women


Christine C. Quinn, the current Speaker of the New York City Council, might be the first female (and LGBT) mayor of NYC. Could she be more of a feminist role model? Uh, yeah, she really could: Quinn’s blocked sick-leave legislation from even getting a vote for more than 1,000 days.

Around a million workers in New York lack paid sick days, many of whom are women who work low-wage jobs: servers, cashiers, health aides. If they have to come to work sick — or when their children are sick at home — because they’re scared of getting fired, everyone suffers. (Have you ever had the super fun norovirus? Then you probably support the bill, since a recent CDC study identified infected food workers as a source of between 53 and 82% of norovirus outbreaks. See, everyone suffers.)

This week, feminist activist Gloria Steinem said she would withdraw her support for Quinn if she didn’t allow a vote on the bill, which would require some small businesses to provide at least five paid sick days a year to employees, because the advancement of one high-profile woman isn’t as significant as ensuring the wellbeing of many.

“Making life fairer for all women seems more important than breaking a barrier for one woman,” Steinem said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Quinn said in a statement of her own that the measure was “a worthy and admirable goal, one I would like to make available for all” and that she would “discuss the legislation, in the context of the evolving economy.”

Will she discuss it in the context of the needs of her constituents, too?


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