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It's Official: Christine Quinn Launches Bid for Mayor

By Jill Colvin | March 10, 2013 8:10am

NEW YORK CITY — It's official.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn formally launched her bid to become the city's next mayor Sunday morning, with a post on her Twitter feed and a video introducing herself to voters.

"Today I'm announcing — making it official — that I'm running for mayor of the City of New York," Quinn said in the message, which focused on Quinn's middle-class roots, her background and her vision for the city.

"I'm running for mayor because I love this city. It is the greatest place in the world," she said, touting New Yorkers as "colorful" and crazy "in the best of all possible ways."

In the video, Quinn — who would become the city's first female and first openly gay mayor — spoke emotionally about her family's arrival from Ireland 100 years ago, as well as her mother's battle against breast cancer, which she said inspired her to enter public service.

She stressed the need to keep the city a beacon for the middle class, with affordable housing and childcare, good public schools, safe neighborhoods and jobs.

"I'm about keeping New York City a place for the middle class to live and grow, and a place that's gonna help all of those hardworking people get into the middle class," she said from a stool at Chelsea's Moonstruck Diner, where the video was shot.

"I'm not about talking and finger-pointing and complaining," she said. "I'm about getting things done."

She pointed to her previous work as a tenant organizer and as the council speaker, touting legislation that prevented immigrant deportations and "protected a woman's right to choose," as well as prevailing and living wage bills — which critics have panned as "watered down."

Quinn also announced plans to kick off the campaign with a "walk-and-talk" tour, with stops scheduled in every neighborhood across the city.

"I think it's a great way to hear directly from New Yorkers what's goin' on in their homes, what's goin' on in their lives, so I can make sure when I'm mayor, my focus is their focus," she said.

"So put those sensible shoes on and come on out with us."

Quinn has established herself as the early frontrunner in a crowded field of Democratic candidates that includes Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Bill Thompson, the former comptroller — who narrowly lost to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009 — and current Comptroller John Liu.

The latest poll showed Quinn closing in on the "magic" 40 percent she needs to win to avoid a runoff with another candidate in the primary, with 37 percent of Democrats surveyed saying they'd vote for her if the primary were held today.

But she has also faced tough criticism from her fellow candidates, who charge that she is too closely aligned with a mayor who is out of touch with average New Yorkers, and has dragged her feet on legislation that would guarantee many New Yorkers paid sick days.