A lot of people were surprised that Council Speaker Christine Quinn decided to suddenly leave the living wage press conference this afternoon after a heckler (who was a pastor supportive of the living wage bill) insulted Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
But Quinn’s actions are getting support from at least one Council member, who is also seeking higher office. Jessica Lappin, a fellow lawmaker from Manhattan who is running for Manhattan borough president, passed along this statement, which calls the heckler’s comments about “Pharaoh Bloomberg” an “inappropriate distraction.”
Lappin was one of several Council members who departed the press conference along with Quinn:
“The growing divide between rich and poor in our city threatens the very fabric of our society. Today, I am proud to be voting on a living wage bill that will reduce that gap by providing New Yorkers with good paying jobs. This bill is about treating workers with respect and dignity. That’s why disrespectful name calling at a press conference is an inappropriate distraction from our greater goal.”
Meanwhile, a statement from RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum did not directly address the controversy, and simply praised Quinn for supporting the living wage bill:
“As I said at the rally, we would not be here today if it weren’t for Chris Quinn. Make no mistake, there would be no living wage law bill without the Speaker,” Appelbaum said. “Even though Chris may have left the rally after declaring her support for the bill, the most important thing for us to remember is that thousands of new Yorkers will receive higher wages because she had the courage to stand up and pass the living wage law.”
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