Peter Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has sent a letter to council speaker Christine Quinn urging her to pass the Paid Sick Leave bill that is now before her.
The letter, co-signed by his wife, Jennifer, says, “Please continue your lifelong commitment to building family economic security and post the New York City Paid Sick Days Act for a vote without delay. This is the single most important thing you can do to help New York’s working parents achieve a better, more stable quality of life.”
Buffett and his siblings were given $1 billion to spend philanthropically, and the investor’s second son has donated much of his to an organization that he founded, called the NoVo Fondation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. He is also a composer of Native American-inspired music.
The letter comes after the Partnership For New York City released a study saying that the bill would greatly hurt the city’s small businesses.
Buffett calls the study hogwash, and notes that San Francisco enacted a similar law that was similarly opposed by business groups.
“The Partnership for New York City today is echoing the rhetoric of San Francisco’s business lobby in 2007: jobs would be lost, businesses would fail, businesses would move into neighboring counties to escape the expense of the new law. None of these gloom and doom predictions came to pass. Speaker Quinn, please hold strong.”
Quinn has intimated that she will make a decision soon. Whatever she decides is expected to reverberate in Quinn’s expected 2013 run for mayor. If she brings the bill to the floor for a vote, she will be attempting to compete for the progressive votes that propelled her first into office in a district representing the west side of Manhattan. If she declines to, analysts say that it is a signal that she will attempt to run as an heir to Michael Bloomberg’s pro-business legacy. Bloomberg has signalled support for the bill, but Kathy Wylde, the head of PFNYC, is against the bill, and is often on the same page as the mayor on these matters.
Kathy Wylde called in after reading the post to say, “This is clearly a desperate campaign to rush this legislation through before the broader public and the small business community have had the opportunity to consider its impact.”