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The State of the Council on 'Living Wage' Legislation
Capital New York
Azi Paybarah

December 28, 2011
View the Original Article


The "living wage" bill currently being debated in the New York City Council may get a boost soon, according to sources who tell City & State that "one or more" City Council members are going to announce their support for the legislation "in the coming days."

The bill is opposed by the Bloomberg administration and has been held up by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has hinted that she would support an amended version of it. As of now, according to a page set up by supporters of the bill, there are 29 City Council members, all Democrats, who support the current version.

Harlem Democrat Inez Dickens withdrew her support, saying in a recent op-ed she feared "the legislation will have an adverse impact on small, minority-and women-owned-businesses in my district."

So, assuming none of the Republicans on the 51-member Council ends up supporting the bill, advocates would need at least five of the 15 remaining uncommitted Democratic Council members (not counting the speaker) to sign on in order to override an all-but-certain mayoral veto.

They'll also need Quinn, at the very least, not to stand in the way. (Witness the paid-sick-day legislation that had the support of 35 members but was opposed by the mayor and shelved by the speaker, who often governs as Bloomberg's ally.)

Here are the Democrats who, as far as I know, have yet to declare support or opposition to the bill:

Leroy Comrie, Jr.

Elizabeth Crowley

Eric Dilan

James Gennaro

David Greenfield

Karen Koslowitz (She's a former union member, and signed on as a sponsor of the prevailing wage bill last year.)

Jessica Lappin

Lew Fidler-Brooklyn (He's preparing to run for the State Senate in a relatively conservative district, whenever the governor calls for a special election to fill the seat vacated by Carl Kruger.)

UPDATE: Colin Campbell reminds me that Fidler put out a statement explaining his support "in principle" for the legislation, while raising doubts about the specifics, and noting that the Kingsbridge Armory -- a development project where the push for a living wage in New York City started - "remains empty today and not a single job has been created there."

Domenic Recchia-Broklyn (He's the finance chairman and has a good working relationship with the speaker and the mayor.)

Diana Reyna

Mike Nelson

Jimmy Vacca

Peter Vallone Jr. (He told me yesterday if the legislation more closely resembled the bill they enacted in Los Angeles, he'd consider supporting it [clarified].)

Mark Weprin

Ruben Wills