In a landslide vote on January 4, New York’s City Council elected Christine Quinn as its first woman and first openly gay Speaker. The position is arguably the second most powerful in the city, after the mayor. At her acceptance speech, Quinn said, “I am incredibly proud that in the most diverse city in the world, that diversity is seen as a strength – not an impediment,” according to the New York Daily News.
Quinn, a Democrat with strong union ties, began her political career in 1989 as a community activist working for affordable housing. On Tuesday she made her first political move as Speaker, joining union leaders to push for a living wage for the city’s 32,000 home health-care workers.