I have been a big supporter of Chris Quinn since I had the opportunity to meet her. She is smart, honest, charming and I just like listening to her thoughts.
This past Tuesday night, I had a fundraiser for Chris. It was a women only event. The response to the women only concept was huge. Many people ( particularly women ) come to political fundraisers and never feel comfortable asking questions. I figured, if the group was a bunch of women only, the conversations would not only be interesting but there would be a higher comfort level for many to ask questions.
After the event, I got a slew of emails from women who attended not only saying how much they loved Chris and how many great shoes were in the room, but many commented on what a commitment Chris has made. As I continue to write and think about women in the workplace and is it possible to do it all, I see someone like Chris and I believe the women at the event applaud her efforts for many reasons. Not only is she doing a fantastic job and has truly changed the landscape of what the City Council does for the city, she gives serious amount of time to the job. She probably works nightly and many weekends and long days. She obviously loves what she does but I would find it hard to believe that there are other parts of her life that may have suffered from it. I would guess that the same thing for a man in his job but reality is men take different roles in their family life.
Chris has been with her partner Kim for quite awhile. Kim also has a major job. They do not have any kids so their focus can actually be about them and their lives together and their passions, be it their jobs, during the day. Then I look at someone like our new state senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. She is married to a guy who has a major job and she has 2 kids, one who is barely a year and the other who is a toddler. I am not here to pass judgement on Gilibrand but I would find it hard to believe that it is hard to be successful in every facet of her life with the demands of being a US senator. It has to be really tough.
I applaud Chris Quinn for so many reasons but she has made decisions in her life and the commitment she has made to be the Speaker of the City Council and as NYer's, we can all be glad that this is the path that she chose.