City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has her eye on the other half of City Hall. In her current position, she already represents New Yorkers.

So why does she feel so powerless that she supports outside action to force the city to do stuff — when she is the city?

The latest example of this odd behavior is her support (wishy-washy enough, yes, but that’s primary-season factional politics for you) for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s complaint with the U.S. Department of Education over Gotham’s exam schools.

The exam schools are schools such as Stuyvesant, which offer free admission to the select group of students who can pass its standardized test every year.

The NAACP fund says that the test is discriminatory because its impacts are disparate — that is, not enough minority students pass the test.

“I think the NAACP has a point we should take a look at,” Quinn said in a radio interview yesterday, according to the Post.

Earlier this year, Quinn was even stronger in her support of a different action.

She said she was “extremely gratified” that a federal judge green-lighted a class-action lawsuit against the NYPD tactic of stop, question, and frisk, adding that the suit would speed NYPD reforms.

It’s one thing for Quinn to push other parts of the city government to change their practices.

It’s another thing altogether to support court or other outside action to force such changes.

New York City already labors under court mandates on everything from take-all-comers homeless policy to (as of recently) firefighter hiring.

These mandates cost money. They also harm the city’s ability to just plain manage itself as it sees fit.

If courts and other electorally unaccountable can manage the city, why do we even need a mayor?

You may also like

New York’s pricey hospitals draw pushback from labor

A City Council hearing in Manhattan on Thursday promises a rare scene in New York politics: hospitals playing defense. The council is debating whether to establish a watchdog agency focused on the high price of hospital care in New York, with a goal of helping the city and other employers contain the rapidly rising cost of health benefits for workers. Read More

On College Readiness, Comptroller Asks Wrong Question, Delivers Flawed Answer 

Graduation rates are rising while standards for graduation are falling. It begs the question: What number of graduating students are college ready? Read More

A Look at Covid Learning Loss in NYC

New York City set an example worthy of approbation and emulation by publishing their grade 3-8 test results in math and English language arts. Read More

Judge, Jury and … CFO?

A state court judge at a hearing this morning will consider whether to interfere with New York City authority over its own budget by ordering a preliminary injunction that ices a portion of Gotham’s recently enacted FY 23 city budget. Read More

NY’s jobs recovery now strongest downstate

The Empire State's private-sector employment gains over the past year have been increasingly concentrated in New York City. Read More

NYC’s out-migration fueled NY state’s record population drop in 2020-21

A huge outflow of residents from New York City accounted for nearly all of New York State's record single-year population loss following the Covid-19 outbreak Read More

As a Supreme Court Ruling Loomed, Cuomo Bent His Own Rules on COVID ‘Clusters’

In the midst of the constitutional showdown over his pandemic policies, Governor Cuomo made changes to a disputed Brooklyn 'cluster zone' that seemed to contradict his own declared guidelines. Read More