12:44 pm Aug. 16, 2012
Will it matter?
In a brief interview, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer of Manhattan, the bill's sponsor, said the poll "helps a lot," and "it was a really great poll."
More than 70 percent of voters said they supported the concept of the bill, which is currently being held up by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and more than 50 percent said they doubt it'll mean fewer jobs.
Brewer said the response showed "people weren't worried about themselves" but also considered the overall impact on the economy, and still backed it.
When I asked whether poll numbers like these made it more likely she could get it passed, Brewer said, "I'm hoping it does."
But the popularity of paid sick leave as a concept was never in question, according to Councilman James Gennaro of Queens, who wrote an op-ed recently about the bill's potential damage to businesses.
The bill's popularity "didn't surprise me," he said in an interview. "I think the concept of it would be universally acclaimed. However, people in leadership positions, our job is to do the right thing and not necessarily do the popular thing."
Gennaro said, speaking generally, that's "the difference between leadership and pandering."
He also said the issue was more complicated than the poll questions were able to convey.
"I don't think there's any debate that the concept of it is universally embraced," he said. "There's no debate about it. But how would you do it? How would it be administered?"
He said New York City doesn't "have a department of labor to enforce it and make it work. So, it'll be in the court system."
He used the phrase "unintended consequences" a few times, and added, "in this economy, if i have to chose between paid sick leave and jobs, I'll choose jobs."