Or Rather, Them?
We're following a reader's suggestion to review what they thought was the most important question asked of the candidates during last week's debate. Why you?
We chose the lines which we think best describe the essence of the candidates' answers.
Lew Fidler: I am not running for speaker of the council because I want to be something else someday. I think that that is important that my colleagues on the council understand. That will truly allow me to empower them. The ideas of 51 members; not the ideas of one. That can be cultivated, grown, and brought together so that we can act effectively to be a counterbalance to an administration that the charter already puts most of the power in.
Joel Rivera: The reason I believe I would be a great speaker for the 51-member body is because I understand the need for access. I know that when Councilmember Robert Jackson, or Simcha Felder, or the council members who are here tonight come to the speaker’s office and say we need to talk about policy, we need to talk about budget priorities when it comes to housing, healthcare, education or economic development, my door is going to be open.
Melinda Katz: I want to make sure that the city gives credibility and confidence to the businesses all over the entire United States, so that they come here, so they want to build here, so they want to bring their employees here, and invest in our future.
Leroy Comrie: I can tell you that after four years as speaker of the City Council I want to make sure that I leave a legacy that my children can be proud of. That my mother, God willing, will still be here and be proud of. That everyone who comes to this city can be proud of.
Christine Quinn: I am running for speaker to take that experience [working collaboratively at the Council] and inclusive leadership style forward to help work with my colleagues to solve more of the problems that loom in this city.
David Weprin: In addition to my City Council experience, I will use my background as an attorney, my 15 plus years as a investment banker in municipal finance, and my previous banking department experience as a deputy in the department to effectively work with Wall Street and the investment community and fighting for increased federal and state aid that we are entitled to.
Bill de Blasio: I think we have to build more of a sense of unity and common purpose among all of the council members. I think I have to work, if I were to become speaker, to help each other succeed in the work we do in our neighborhoods. And I think that in everything that we do, we have to be clear that we have to balance the power of the council more strongly with the power of the mayor.