NEW YORK (WPIX)—Christine Quinn was re-elected as the speaker of the New York City Council Wednesday by a 48-to-1 vote amid shouts of "Sell Out" and "Uncle Tom" by a small group of protesters.
"The City Council is a great place. You get to come in and screaming out what you want. It's totally open democracy," Quinn told PIX News. " [I] would rather not get yelled at ... but it's good that we do that."
A notable objection came from Brooklyn Councilmember Charles Barron, who cast a vote for himself. He argued that the Speaker should be someone from a racial minority group to reflect the new council, which now has a non-white majority.
"To bring up race doesn't mean that you're anti anyone, you are pro you. And to be pro us doesn't mean to be anti-white or anti anybody else. But I do think that it is time that we elect one of us to be speaker in this body," said Barron.
After the vote, Quinn, who was the first woman and openly gay person to become Council speaker four years ago, said she went over and shook Barron's hands.
"I hope this disagreement we have won't prevent us from working together," she said.