By MIKE LEE
An enthusiastic crowd gathered at union headquarters on Jan. 26 to support New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for a second term.
Lauding the mayor, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said, “Mayor de Blasio has achieved major accomplishments benefiting the city’s working men and women.”
Garrido praised de Blasio for implementing pre-K, promoting meaningful solutions to the affordable housing crisis and wrapping up virtually all of the outstanding contracts of the unionized municipal workforce.
“His commitment to reducing economic inequality in our city deserves our continued support,” Garrido said. “We shall engage and mobilize our sizable membership to see to his re-election this November.”
In January, it took only one day for the union and the city to negotiate an extension of the 2010-17 economic agreement, a testament to the de Blasio administration’s commitment to fruitful labor relations. The deal will put the financially battered prescription drug benefit on a firmer financial ground.
Garrido said that last year the mayor’s support was especially important to the settlement of an economic agreement with the City University of New York, whose workers had been without a contract for seven years. The mayor has worked with the union to raise the city’s minimum wage and to contract in work at several city agencies and departments, moves that so far have increased the size of city’s information technology workforce by more than 1,000.
DC 37’s endorsement of the mayor comes at a critical time in the city’s history.
New York City faces a myriad of crises, including egregious executive orders signed by President Donald J. Trump. One executive order threatens to withhold federal grants from the city if it refuses to drop its sanctuary city status, which protects hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.
“For decades, this city had a clear rule: that our police were going to be there for all of our residents, regardless of their documentation status, that when they had to come to a police officer, this would not bring harm to their family,” de Blasio said. “We will not accept an edict from Washington that makes our city less safe.”
DC 37 Delegates overwhelmingly approved the mayor’s endorsement at its monthly meeting on Jan. 24. Their formal approval included a recommendation that members vote for the contract extension.
Also, at the Delegates meeting, the union unanimously endorsed Marvin Holland in the Feb. 14 special election to represent the 9th City Council district seat vacated by Inez Dickens. The district represents Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, part of East Harlem and the Upper West Side. The Central Labor Council also endorsed Holland, who is the political and legislative director for Transit Workers Union.