Speaker Highlights Developing Rundown Neighborhoods To Create Jobs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn essentially kicked off her campaign for mayor as she delivered the State of the City address Monday.

Quinn spoke to a packed Council chamber and was interrupted by applause many times.

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“We need to make sure that the people who want want to stay in our great city can afford to stay,” she said. “We have no greater challenge or obligation to the families we represent than to tackle this problem head-on and to deliver results. The future of our city depends on it.”

Quinn got the biggest ovation when she talked about developing rundown neighborhoods to create jobs.

“It’s a strategy I call ‘Keeping Opportunity Close to Home — Koch.‘ Because we all know how much I love to name things after Mayor [Ed] Koch and we all know he would not wanted us to have not mentioned him in an important way today at the first State of the City speech without him,” Quinn said.

Koch’s friend and press secretary George Arzt had this reaction: “The mayor would have been very touched. I’m sure he’s up there, looking down and smiling.”

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But not everyone had positive things to say about Quinn’s speech.

In fact, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is himself running for mayor of New York City called the speech “kabuki theater.”

“Strengthening and expanding the middle class requires more than lofty words and playing an assigned role in the annual kabuki theater that our city budget process has become,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The public advocate said that “From paid sick leave to early childhood and after-school program expansion to small business advocacy, Speaker Quinn has partnered with Mayor Bloomberg in blocking programs that would make a real difference to the lives of working families.”

“If the next four years at City Hall are simply a continuation of the last 12, we will have failed millions of forgotten New Yorkers who deserve a mayor who speaks for them,” the statement concluded.

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