3:03 pm Jan. 27, 20131
"To me, identity politics is not really where it's at," said Cynthia Nixon after Bill de Blasio officially announced his campaign for mayor in Park Slope this afternoon.
Nixon, best known for playing Miranda on Sex and the City, was responding to my question about why she's supporting Bill de Blasio for mayor instead of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who, like Nixon, is an openly gay woman.
Standing outside de Blasio's Park Slope home, Nixon said, "I really want a candidate who believes what I believe. And so, for example, you know, that person that you're mentioning doesn't support paid sick leave and to me that is an issue that certainly, as a progressive, one has to be behind that issue."
Nixon went on to say "the group of people that don't have that paid sick leave is disproportionately women. And I feel like Bill supports that and Bill is fighting really hard for that."
Quinn, for her part, said she supports the overall concept of Paid Sick Leave, but not the current version of the bill, because of the city's weak economy. She has not indicated what specifically needed to change in the bill, or the city's economic climate, that would make her support it. The bill is supported by 37 City Council members—enough to pass and override a veto from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Quinn ally who opposes the bill.
Although Nixon said de Blasio's push to increase parent's voices in public school was important (Bloomberg "has completely shut out the parental voice," she said), it was the Paid Sick Leave bill that was pivotal in her decision to back de Blasio over Quinn.
"To me that's kind of a split in the road and I don't want to go with somebody who calls themselves a progressive but doesn't believe in that," Nixon said.
The New York Times' city hall bureau chief, David Chen, asked Nixon how active she planned on being in the campaign.
"I think I will be more involved than any other campaign than I've ever been involved in because I think it will be such a tremendous thing for New York if he was our next mayor," she said.
The other mayoral candidates, like former comptroller Bill Thompson and current comptroller John Liu have their fair share of celebrity supporters. Quinn's, for example, include Vogue editor Anna Wintour, film producer Harvey Weinstein and celebrity chef Mario Batali (who landed on the front page of the Post today for taking drastic steps to fight what he called overzealous health inspectors from the city).