Caribbean Heritage Celebration Highlights Politics and Citizenship

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Members and leaders gather for the opening of the Caribbean Heritage celebration. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS

The contributions and heritage of Caribbean expats were celebrated June 5 at the union’s annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event was co-sponsored by Locals 420 and 768.

“Like never before we are hearing from the Trump Administration and social media an increasingly amount of anti-union, anti-immigrant, anti-women speech,” said Committee Chair Carmen Charles, a DC 37 vice president and president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. “Such vitriolic speech is irresponsible and unacceptable. I urge you to stand with your union against anti-immigrant policies. We — and all immigrants — have value and bring so much to New York City and to America.”

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Local 420 President Carmen Charles, chair of the DC 37 Caribbean Heritage Committee, welcomes members and guests to the union’s annual Caribbean event. Photo: Mike Lee

“Take advantage of the union benefit and take steps to secure U.S. citizenship for yourself and your family members,” Charles said. She invited attendees to register for the union’s Citizenship and Immigration Forum on June 20 (for more details: DC37citizenship@gmail.com).

With more than $100 Billion in earned income, immigrants earned 32 percent of total earnings in New York City, according to a report City Comptroller Scott Stringer issued last year. New York City’s largest influx of immigrants hail from five nations, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guyana, Haiti and Trinidad. Their economic contributions fuel New York City’s economy and sustain local economies in neighborhoods citywide.

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Members and guest were treated to a musical performance. Photo: Mike Lee

“Who can forget the demonstrations at airports when 45 tried to impose religious bans, or his threats of mass deportations and his jailing and separation of families at our borders?” asked Fitz Reid, co-chair and president of Local 768. “This is antithetical to our liberty and legacy. After all, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all.’”

The DC 37 Blog is an online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal workers in New York City.

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