Last night, public advocate Bill de Blasio announced his support for the living wage measure now before Council Speaker Christine Quinn. This morning, a coalition of groups who have been pushing the measure blasted Mr. de Blasio, saying that the timing of his announcement was political and saying they supported Ms. Quinn’s deliberate process.
Now, a chief supporter of the living wage, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, has rushed out his own support of Mr. de Blasio.
Says Mr. Diaz:
As a leader in the fight to bring a ‘living wage’ law to New York City, I enthusiastically welcome Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s support for the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act. Public Advocate de Blasio has displayed a strong record of fighting for the rights of those underserved and often ignored residents of this City, and his support for this historic legislation is another great example of his commitment to justice and fairness for New Yorkers.
“For months, the public advocate met with individuals and organizations on all sides of this legislation as he engaged in a thoughtful, deliberative examination of the merits of this bill. After meeting with me personally last week, I am thrilled that he has joined the majority of our City in support of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act. This further demonstrates that we are gaining momentum in our efforts to pass this important legislation.
Mr. de Blasio is a clear candidate in the 2013 mayoral race against Ms. Quinn, and it was unsurprising to have him come out in favor of the bill, especially after a poll came out showing that a majority of voters approve of the measure. More confusing however is why members of the Living Wage Coalition are blasting Mr. de Blasio for his support. Those I have spoken with say it really does have to do with the timing of his announcement and the sense that he was politicizing the bill, but others in political circles are scratching their heads over the matter, noting that pretty much everything in politics in politicized to one degree or another.
Last week, a Quinnipiac Poll new Quinnipiac Poll was released showing that New Yorkers of all political leanings support a “living wage.” Voters polled by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said that the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which is currently before the New York City Council, is a “good idea” by a wide margin of 74-19 percent.
The poll also found support strong for the bill across the political spectrum, with support for the bill among Republicans at 56-39 percent, among Democrats at 83-11 percent and among independents at 67-25 percen