City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the front-runner in early mayoral race polls, officially announced that she's running for mayor today. On her website, she writes, "Why? I’m running because I want to make sure that New York remains what it was when my grandparents came here a hundred years ago: a place where, with good, honest work, you could lift your family into the middle class."

Quinn, who would be NYC's first female mayor as well as NYC's first openly gay mayor if elected, also Tweeted, "It's official: I’m running for mayor to fight for the middle class #Quinn4NY. Watch my video & RT -CQ http://goo.gl/wsuzY" Here's that video:

Her statement on her website also says:

Today, too many families face an affordability crisis that is simply squeezing them out of our city. We must change that.

With the right leadership, I know that New York can continue to be a beacon for the rest of the world: a home for the middle class, and for all of those people working hard every day to get there.

Together, let's make sure we live in a city where everyone has the opportunity to get a job, own a decent home, live in a safe neighborhood and send their kids to great public schools.

That’s what I’m fighting for. I hope you’ll join me.

The middle class is the big battleground for Democratic mayoral candidates, as they try to distance themselves from Mayor Bloomberg. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who announced his candidacy in January, pointed out he did not support Bloomberg's third term (Quinn supported the term limits extension).

Quinn, who also posted an announcement in Spanish, will be doing a "walk and talk" of different NYC neighborhoods to speak to constituents, “It’s a great way to hear directly from New Yorkers, what’s going on in your homes, what’s going on in their lives, so I can make sure when I’m mayor, my focus is their focus" and "show me the hidden treasures of your neighborhood I may not have gotten to see."

The NY Times reports, "The announcement on Sunday was essentially a formality for Ms. Quinn, who has spent years preparing a bid for mayor. Early polls show her with an advantage over her Democratic rivals, but that lead could prove illusory as more voters begin to pay attention to the race in the months leading up to the primary contests, which are expected to be held in September." Also: "The video, which resembles the expensive ads of national political campaigns, was produced by Ms. Quinn’s high-powered political consulting firm, SKD Knickerbocker, which has created political commercials for Mr. Bloomberg. Quinn campaign officials would not disclose the cost for the video."