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!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.