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Chin Weighs Whether to Support Quinn as Speaker

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In the past few days there's been a good deal of speculation about the future of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as well as the future role of the Council as a "counter-balance" to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. While it's generally believed that she'll be re-elected speaker, several new and veteran council members are pressuring Quinn to stand up to Bloomberg in a way some people feel she's been unwilling to do in the past. Yesterday we asked District 1 City Councilmember-elect Margaret Chin whether she'd decided whether to support Speaker Quinn.

Chin told us, "I have not made up my mind yet as to whom I will be supporting for speaker. While I am proud to be a member of the first majority-minority Council that reflects the diversity of the population of New York City, I was also proud to see the election of the first female speaker."

When the new Council convenes in late January, 27 of the 51 seats will be held by minorities. Councilmember Charles Barron is considering challenging Quinn if no other "person of color" decides to run for speaker. But the issue is complicated for many members by the fact tat Quinn is the Council's first female speaker. Like many of her new colleagues, Chin campaigned against many of Bloomberg's programs, and argued that he has neglected the concerns of middle-class New Yorkers.

Yesterday Chin made it clear she's looking for the Council to change its ways: "I certainly hope that Mayor Bloomberg's narrow margin last Tuesday will change the direction and the tone of the Council. We deserve a government that serves the needs of all New Yorkers, and I think the Speaker recognizes the kinds of changes that requires."

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  1. Good Going Councilmember Elect Chin! I am thrilled some one has the courage to stand up and criticize Mayor Bloomberg and demand that the Council Speaker stand up to the Mayor when involving middle class issues. You would never hear that from Gerson. Margaret is a gem.

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