Out lesbian former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn won’t be making a last-minute bid to become the next mayor of New York City.
Quinn announced February 22 that she would not seek the highest office in New York City this year, opting instead to continue focusing on “fighting for homeless families” as CEO of Women in Need (WIN), a nonprofit focused on lifting homeless women in the city out of poverty.
The former City Council speaker, who served between 2006 and 2013 and was the first out LGBTQ person to hold the office, did not give any hint as to who she would support in the 2021 race for mayor — which has more than two dozen declared candidates seeking to succeed term-limited Bill de Blasio.
But she expressed disappointment that “homelessness has barely registered” as a major topic in the campaign — and took a swipe at Mayor Bill de Blasio for not following through on his promises to alleviate homelessness.
“This is completely unacceptable and disrespectful to the thousands of New Yorkers in the shelter system,” Quinn said in a statement. “I intend to use my platform as a leader in homeless advocacy, and experience both inside and outside of government, to hold the field of candidates running for mayor accountable and ensure that, unlike Bill de Blasio, the next mayor actually makes good on their promises to homeless families.”
Quinn says she plans to engage with the candidates and urge them to speak publicly about their plans to “create more affordable housing, increase the value of rental vouchers, support students in shelter and provide services for families in shelter to access good-paying jobs.”
The former speaker also said the candidates must “reject racist and classist fear-mongering and treat all New Yorkers with respect and compassion” in order to resolve “the structural failures” that the pandemic exposed and forced “so many families into shelter.”
“I look forward to engaging with each of the candidates during the campaign and the eventual next Mayor of New York City to ensure the voices and aspirations of the amazing families at WIN are heard and considered, so that we can make our city a more fair and equitable place for everyone,” she added.
Quinn had previously run for mayor in 2013 and was, at one point, one of the front-runners in the race to succeed then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg. However, Quinn came under fire from her opponents in the Democratic primary, including de Blasio, for her previous support of Bloomberg and the alteration of the term-limit law in 2008, which permitted Bloomberg and other citywide officials to seek a third term in office.
Quinn wound up finishing third to de Blasio and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.
This story originally appeared in Gay City News’ sister publication amny.com. To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit gaycitynews.com/newsletter.