By ALFREDO ALVARADO
Democratic Party presidential challenger Bernie Saunders filled Washington Square Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with thousands of his supporters who were feeling the Bern, but it was Hillary Clinton who rocked the vote in the primary election, winning a decisive victory over the senator from Vermont. Clinton received 58 percent of the vote while Sanders received 42 percent.
“Our path has just gotten clearer,” said the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in her victory speech as the polls were closing in the April 19 New York primary election.
With five more primary elections to be held before primary season ends on June 7, Clinton now has two thirds of the pledged delegates. A total of 2,383 delegates are needed to secure the nomination.
With her path to the Democratic Party nomination almost certain, Clinton reached out to Saunders supporters during her acceptance speech. “There is much more that unites us than divides us,” she said.
DC 37 delegates, the union’s highest decision-making body, unanimously endorsed Clinton’s presidential campaign during their monthly meeting on March 29.
“Hillary Clinton has always had a serious commitment to public service and fighting for others, especially children and their families,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. The union also endorsed her 2008 presidential campaign and her runs for U.S Senate to represent New York. She served as a New York senator for eight years.
Union volunteers — part of the DC 37 Green Machine — were out in full force on primary day going door to door to get out the vote in the Lower East Side and Chinatown in Manhattan. Volunteers also worked the telephone banks at union headquarters, calling members to remind them to vote.
Mirta Feliciano, a retired member of Local 420, worked the first shift and placed dozens of calls to members.
“The response has been good,” Feliciano said. “A lot of people I spoke with are for Hillary.”
Lee Saunders, president of DC 37’s parent union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, praised the efforts of AFSCME members all over the state for getting out the vote for Clinton.
“Nearly 400,000 public service workers across New York are members of AFSCME and their grassroots organizing efforts were instrumental to Secretary Clinton’s primary victory in the state,” Saunders said.