City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a prospective 2013 mayoral candidate, walked the tightrope between “Occupy Wall Street” and the business community during a speech in Midtown Tuesday. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn struck a delicate balance Tuesday, defending “Occupy Wall Street” protesters while also arguing that the city needs to support a diverse local economy that includes Wall Street.
"I'm here to tell you we are not going to let that dream die and we are not going to let the middle class disappear from our city," said Quinn. "That's our job, is to try to minimize worry of the future by demonstrating we can create jobs, put people to work and keep the jobs we have."
The comments came at a business breakfast in Midtown where the presumptive 2013 mayoral candidate unveiled a jobs plan to boost the local economy.
She proposed a new biotech tax credit, a new technology innovation center at CUNY and new job training programs for web designers and home care workers.
When attendees asked about her stance on the protests downtown, Quinn said they have to respond.
"All of us, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, whether we’re talking about ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or groups in other parts of the political spectrum, if we ignore the sentiment, then we miss the worry and the fear that is out there," said Quinn.
While Quinn voiced support for “Occupy Wall Street” Tuesday, the speaker still has not been to Zuccotti Park to visit protesters, but she hasn't necessarily ruled it out, either.
"It isn't on the schedule right now. That's not to say it never will be on the schedule," said Quinn.
Tuesday's speech was part of a larger evolution for Quinn, one that has seen the fiery progressive curry favor with the business community as she plans her potential run for City Hall.
"She wanted to be known as someone who is not opposed to Wall Street, not opposed to business in general, and she's talking about jobs, which is the number one issue that's on everyone's mind," said political consultant Bill Cunningham.
That’s including those at Tuesday's breakfast and those camped in Zuccotti Park.