In State of the City, Christine Quinn says middle class can’t afford NYC

Christine Quinn
Council Speaker Christine Quinn delivers the 2013 State of the City Address. (William Alatriste)

New York is not a city friendly to teachers and construction workers.

That is one of the points City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made today, when she used her State of the City address at City Hall to say that New York is pricing out the middle class.

From housing to child care, Quinn said, the city is too expensive for people like teachers and construction workers to live.

“We face an affordability crisis in our city,” she said. “We need to make sure that people who want to stay in our great city can afford to stay.”

She added, “I refuse to accept the notion that large portions of our city are destined to become a luxury only available to the wealthiest among us.”

Her office released a report showing that the average middle-class income has steadily declined since 2001. Meanwhile, Manhattan and Brooklyn were listed in the top five most expensive urban areas of the country, and the unemployment rate for the middle class hit 6.2 percent. Before 2008, that rate was 2 percent, according to the report.

Quinn, who is running for mayor, also spoke about her own background, mentioning her grandfather arriving in New York 100 years ago from Ireland and shoveling coal in a slaughterhouse, all hoping for a better life for his kids.

“That’s the dream of the middle class,” she said.

Housing affordability was her top focus – she suggested creating 40,000 new middle-income apartments throughout the next 10 years.

Quinn also wants to reward building owners that turn market-rate apartments into affordable units, suggesting a fixed property tax.

“We will not let middle-class families get priced out of the neighborhoods they helped build,” she said.

She also promised to overhaul the city’s maintenance code, ensuring that things like leaking pipes will become a specific violation, which will also keep affordable housing well maintained.

One mom’s struggle to build a business

Throughout the speech, Quinn spoke of New Yorkers trying to get by and succeed in the city, like Lerida Mojica, who started a company, New York Cake Pops, after using a city-created East Harlem incubator that provides kitchen space.

Mojica, 31, told Metro that she started the company while juggling two small children, now 4 and 5, after fielding requests for the treats that she would make for her kids’ birthdays.

But her New York City apartment was too small to expand for hundreds of pops, so she found La Marqueta, a city-created project that allows budding entrepreneurs to share kitchen space.

Without that, New York might have not been an easy place to launch the business, she said. “New York is so expensive,” she said, adding that her cramped Inwood apartment would not have allowed as many orders.

Even now, she said, “It’s still very expensive for us,” especially as she and her husband, a jazz pianist, are pondering potential kindergarten spots for their young children.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter: @reporteralison

Follow Metro New York on Twitter: @MetroNewYork



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.