Working Her Way Up
February 12th, 2008

At Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s State of the City speech this afternoon her exit strategy seemed to say it all.

The speech’s finale was accompanied by Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run,” otherwise known as the theme song to the ’80s classic “Working Girl” – the tale of a secretary from Staten Island who is destined to successfully climb the corporate ladder.

The song’s refrain belts: “Let all the dreamers wake the nation.”

Are New Yorkers supposed to be catching onto something? Does that ambition seem familiar?

Quinn’s State of the City speech, which came via a consultant for $12,000, seemed to play on similar optimism and idealism. (The 5,000 plus word speech is worth about $2.30 a word.) The speaker also seemed to be more energetic and animated than in previous addresses, at times pumping her fist and using inflection to boost certain sections.

“Even in the most challenging of times, we dont just go through the motions,” said Quinn raising her arms. “We come together, we rise to the moment and we get on to the greatness we were cut out for.”

Quinn, a likely mayoral candidate in 2009, attempted to channel that enthusiasm to multiple bases, from labor unions to transportation advocates. She proposed a citywide suspension of the sales tax to coincide with federal rebate checks, an expansion of a health care program for small businesses, more food stamps for seniors and a citywide ferry service for inter-borough commuters.

But the speech’s substance, at least at first glance, seems to propose myriad programs that appear to be out of the hands of the council. Quinn again wants a renter’s tax rebate, which is up to Albany, and her call for salary incentives for middle school teachers is up to the administration.

She did, however, make an unprecedented promise that is definitely within her jurisdiction: The Council will, for the first time in recent memory, reduce its budget just as all the other city departments are tightening their own belts.

By on February 12, 2008, 4:13 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Housing,nextNY,Transportation | Comments Off on Working Her Way Up

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