Quinn’s final act
"There is no group of people who put their heart and their soul into making this city and world a better place," Christine Quinn said, tearfully, in the last City Council meeting she would ever preside over as speaker.
In an emotional tribute that capped a difficult year for Quinn, she thanked her 50 colleagues for their service.
"I just want to say thank you," she said. "I want to thank you on behalf of 8.4 million New Yorkers who you have slaved for and you have made this city a better, more fair and more just place."
"And I'm so proud of the administration we ran here. We were tough. We didn't take any shit," she added, eliciting laughter and applause.
Other members said goodbye, too.
Outgoing Council Republican leader James Oddo of Staten Island told the racially, ethnically diverse Council, "I never had hatred in my heart, but I had my fair share of ignorance. And you guys have stripped that from me. ... I came from a place where I looked like everyone and everyone looked like me. I sounded like everyone and everyone sounded like me. And I walk out of here and some of the people I'm closest with aren't white, aren't Catholic, aren't straight.
"You've taught me to be a better person."
Prior to the meeting Quinn boasted of the busy last day she'd had, passing 26 bills and resolutions, which she said was a record.
The legislation included a ban on electronic cigarettes wherever traditional ones are prohibited, a requirement for the city to study the feasibility of recycling Styrofoam and the creation of an interactive online database to track government funds earmarked for Hurricane Sandy recovery.
The day was overshadowed by the race to succeed Quinn, which will be determined by the 51 members in a Jan. 8 vote.
The leader and presumed winner is Melissa Mark-Viverito, who announced Wednesday night she has 31 votes on her side, including her own. The minimum required for victory is 26.
But her rival, Dan Garodnick, is putting up a fight.
Quinn, who has had a rocky relationship with Mark-Viverito in recent years, refused to comment on Mark-Viverito's possible victory or on the role of her former rival, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, in securing that result.
"I wish whoever the next speaker is nothing but success," she said.