Rabbis Pressure Christine Quinn Over Sick Leave

New York Mayoral Hopeful Opposes Business Requirement

Mayoral Wannabe: In what could be early jockeying for the 2013 New York mayoral race, liberal rabbis are pushing Christine Quinn to back a bill that would force most businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees.
getty images
Mayoral Wannabe: In what could be early jockeying for the 2013 New York mayoral race, liberal rabbis are pushing Christine Quinn to back a bill that would force most businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published October 25, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Dozens of prominent liberal New York City rabbis are demanding that 2013 mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn approve a bill that would require city businesses to provide employees with paid sick days.

Members of the City Council overwhelmingly support the bill, as do a handful of other potential mayoral candidates. Quinn, however, the speaker of the City Council, opposes the legislation, and has so far blocked it from coming to a vote.

The Democratic mayoral primary is nine months away, and the city’s well-heeled liberal Jewish constituency is still without an obvious candidate. According to some observers, Quinn’s next move on paid sick leave could play a role in determining whether or not they wind up backing her.

“The progressive Jewish community, with its deep, longtime narrative of social justice and aggressive fairness, is in no way cemented to Speaker Quinn,” said Michael Tobman, a New York City-based political consultant.

The letter, signed by forty rabbis, asks Quinn to pass a bill called the Paid Sick Time Act, Intro 97. That bill is still being revised, but would require most New York City businesses to provide a handful of paid sick days each year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also opposes the measure. Supporters believe they have enough support in the City Council to override a potential mayoral veto.

Similar legislation has passed in recent years in Connecticut and San Francisco. The New York City bill was first introduced in the City Council in 2010.

Signatories to the rabbis’ letter include clergy from Central Synagogue; a large Reform congregation on the Upper East Side, from Congregation Rodef Sholom; a large Reform congregation on the Upper West Side, and from Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a large Conservative congregation on the Upper West Side. Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, an activist group, organized the letter.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.