Quinn's State of the City focuses on unemployment, education, housing

STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 2/25/2012, 1:02 p.m.

Quinn addressed that during her speech as well. "Right now, when the city negotiates deals with developers, we provide incentives in exchange for affordability," said Quinn.

"The problem is that affordability has a built-in expiration date, usually 30 years. So homes we built three decades ago are now in danger of losing their affordability, which means families get pushed right out of their homes and the working class gets pushed out of entire neighborhoods."

Quinn also talked about working with Council Member Annabel Palma to create a new rental assistance program that would help families cover rent in private buildings. Continuing her focus on those who need it most, Quinn also discussed tackling the problem of homelessness, something that

Bloomberg has been accused of sweeping under the rug. "We need to prioritize homeless New Yorkers for NYCHA apartments and Section 8 vouchers so we can get even more families into long-term, stable housing," said Quinn.

"By the way, this isn't just the right thing to do, it's the fiscally responsible thing to do. The average cost of a rental subsidy for a family of four is $800 a month. To house that same family in a shelter? $3,000."

So what do others think of her track record as Council speaker and as an overall politician?

"I've seen some of the things she's done as a City Council [member]," said New York State NAACP President Hazel Dukes. "We'll have to see what she's going to use her platform for and what she can do.

Being the mayor is different than being the speaker. "

"I know she's been vocal on the homeless and some of the human resources, such as fingerprinting people who get food stamps, so she's stepped up to the plate on a few different things. But we'll see." Dukes told the AmNews that while she was sent a copy of Quinn's speech, she hadn't yet taken the time to read it all the way through. Councilman Charles Barron didn't hesitate when it came to his opinion of the speaker.

"Her State of the City address was a campaign speech," Barron said to the

AmNews. "The devil is in the details. When it comes to budget time, where's all the money for all of these things? If there's no money attached to what's she's saying, it's all political.

"She's like the deputy mayor. She couples with Bloomberg every year around budget time and cuts programs even when we have surpluses in the budget.

"You can tell it's political when she mentions 20 or 30 council members by name," continued Barron. "[She's] probably trying to get their support. I don't think she'd make a good mayor for us. I hope that Blacks and Latinos in the City Council don't drink the Christine Quinn Kool-Aid. I hope we're strong enough to stand for our people and for those who are for us."