Biography

A progressive leader with an unrivaled and unmatched record of results, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn delivers for New Yorkers in all five boroughs.

As a community organizer, anti-violence advocate and now as the second most powerful elected official in the City, Chris has created thousands of new jobs, passed a living wage law to increase salaries on city funded projects, balanced the budget while protecting vital services, cracked down on bad landlords, increased access to health care, improved early childhood education, stopped teacher lay-offs, and helped keep our streets safe while fighting for one system of justice in all communities. 

A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Chris first came to New York City to become a community organizer and run the Housing Justice Campaign.

Her initial foray into electoral politics took place in 1991, when she managed the campaign of Tom Duane and then served as his Chief of Staff in the City Council. Chris later became the Executive Director of the NYC Anti-Violence Project where she worked closely with the New York City Police Department to reduce hate crimes.

Since 1999, Chris has served as the City Council Member for the lower Westside of Manhattan. In 2006, Chris was elected Speaker, making her the highest-ranking woman and highest-ranking openly gay elected official in City history.

Chris is widely seen as one of the most effective elected officials in New York:

  • Passed seven on-time, balanced budgets that protected critical social services, firehouses and libraries.
  • Stopped 4,000 teachers from being laid-off and fought against overcrowding and for greater parental involvement in our schools.
  • Created thousands of new jobs, helping diversify the City’s economy and reduce our dependence on Wall Street.
  • Wrote the law banning smoking in bars and the workplace.
  • Passed the Climate Protection Act, requiring the City to reduce greenhouse emissions 30% citywide by 2030.
  • Cracked down on bad landlords and built thousands of new units of affordable housing for the middle class.
  • Helped keep our neighborhoods safe by putting more cops on the street, adding funding for more bulletproof vests for every officer while also working to improve police-community relations.
  • Reformed the City Council by making it more transparent, tightening lobbying restrictions and passing one of the toughest campaign finance laws in the country.

Chris and her wife, Kim Catullo, live in Chelsea, with their dogs Justin and Sadie.

Click here for photos of Chris