Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Barron Will Challenge Quinn for Council Speaker
Monday, December 07, 2009
New York, NY —
Brooklyn councilman Charles Barron says he's challenging Christine Quinn for the title of Council Speaker, while hoping to reform the position. WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more.
REPORTER: Barron and Quinn have clashed before, namely when she fired his aide for making inflammatory remarks about another council member. He brought up that history at a rally yesterday, but says this isn't about his personal interest in becoming Speaker as much as the need to end Quinn's reign.
Barron derisively called Quinn the deputy mayor, in reference to her frequent alignment with Mayor Bloomberg on issues like term limits. He also says that as Speaker, Quinn can decide whether legislation is voted on or dies in committee, and which members are appointed committee chairs.
The reforms he's proposing along with outgoing councilman Tony Avella would end that concentration of power, he says. And ensure that council members are less beholden to the Speaker. For WNYC, I'm Arun Venugopal.
REPORTER: Calls and e-mails to Quinn's office for comment over the weekend, were not returned.