City Council Speaker Christine Quinn showed her anti-Wal-Mart colors during a Crain's business breakfast forum. Though she may be overruled, should zoning allow the retail behemoth to move in, Quinn said:
"I don't want Wal-Mart in the City of New York unless they change their corporate behavior...It is well documented across the country that Wal-Mart frequently uses the public insurance programs of the cities they are in as their own health insurance programs. We can't put that additional strain on our Health and Hospitals Corp., which is working as hard as it can to take care of uninsured New Yorkers."
Of course, there were Wal-Mart executives in the audience, who said their health benefits were competitive and that "New Yorkers want the option to [shop] at Wal-Mart." According to Crain's, Quinn said she wouldn't "take the same position" against Kohl's, Gap, or Home Depot since they're in NYC anyway and "Wal-Mart is the worst offender in terms of employee benefits and gender discrimination." Gothamist would like to see a City Council rumble with Wal-Mart - maybe it'll happen in 2007, but not for now.
Other bulletpoints from her speech, via the Daily News: Quinn thinks Governor Pataki's "leadership" at Ground Zero sucks, she'll support a Javits Convention expansion, and she hasn't stepped into the Brooklyn Nets arena fray - yet.