POLITICAL ACTION

Leading the Way: The Transformation of a Union

November 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union has embarked upon an ambitious, multi-year program to improve services, amplify the voice of members, expand organizing, engage activists, and reach out to the communities where our members live. With this effort, the union seeks to lead the way for the city’s labor movement, even as unions around the country are being targeted by deep-pocketed, right-wing, anti-government groups. These groups and their corporate and political allies have devoted decades to silencing the voices of working families. So far, their work has been successful: In the 1970s, nearly 35 percent of workers belonged to unions. That number has since plummeted to 10.4 percent this year. After decades of attacks, unions now only represent 6.4 percent of private-sector workers.Today, the network is turning its sights on public employees and their unions. A new model of unionism “We [More...]

DC 37 Activists Help Re-elect de Blasio and Defeat the Constitutional Convention

November 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 helped Mayor Bill de Blasio win another four-year term with his landslide victory over his Republican opponent. “We should all feel elated,” said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido about de Blasio’s victory. Voters throughout the state also soundly rejected a ballot proposal to hold a constitutional convention. “Union members across the state sent a strong message on Election Day,” Garrido said. “This is a tremendous victory for organized labor in New York and for all working people,” said Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO. DC 37 was among the more than 150 community organizations and labor unions that joined the New Yorkers Against Corruption coalition to spread the word and get the vote out against a constitutional convention, which was the first proposal on the election ballot. Beginning in the summer, [More...]

Legislative Conference Explores Critical Issues Facing the Union

November 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The fight to keep pay loans out of New York, the financial crisis at the city’s public hospitals, the federal budget’s impact on New York City and the effect of a ruling by U.S. Supreme Court next year in the Janus v. AFSCME case were topics of discussion at DC 37’s 42nd Annual Legislative Conference. “Even though pay day loans are banned here, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to get back in,” said Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou, who represents Manhattan’s 65th District. Niou was one of the speakers at the Oct. 28 conference at DC 37 headquarters. She acknowledged the work the union has done to protect union members against pay loans and pointed to New York State as a model for other states to follow in the fight to protect consumers. “DC 37 has been on the front lines fighting to protect New Yorkers against predatory lending,” Niou said. Sally [More...]

Help Get Out the Vote

October 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

ATTENTION DC 37 MEMBERS AND RETIREES — Please join DC 37 on  Saturday, November 4, 2017 to help Get Out the Vote for this year’s election. We need volunteers to help inform members about the dangers of the New York State Constitutional Convention. Volunteers are needed from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations: Bronx: Church Of Gods Children – 159 Dreiser Loop (Lower Level) – Bronx, NY 10475 Brooklyn: St. Gabriel’s Church – 331 Hawthorne St. – Brooklyn, NY 11225 Manhattan: 2005 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., (cor. 120th St) – New York, NY 10027 Queens: 172-02 Jamaica Ave. – Jamaica, NY 11432 If you would like to sign up, or need more information, please call the DC 37 Political Action Department at (212) 815-1550 or click on the link below: DC 37 Get Out the Vote – Volunteer Form VOTE AND [More...]

Union Organizes Against Constitutional Convention

October 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As the Nov. 7 elections  approach, DC 37 is stepping up its work with a coalition fighting against a ballot question on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention. Established earlier this year, New Yorkers Against Corruption is spreading the word about the danger of holding a convention, which would open the door for special interests to chip away at crucial protections and rights enshrined in the state constitution. The group’s campaign includes a media outreach and door-to-door canvassing. “A lot is at risk,” said Jordan Marks, the group’s campaign manager. “Voting rights. Criminal justice. Environmental protections. Women’s health and a lot more.” Besides working with the coalition, the union is also focusing on informing members about the constitutional convention. Polls show that the convention is not on the radar screen of most [More...]

Union Activists Demand More Aid for Puerto Rico

October 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from District Council 37, 32 BJ SEIU, and the Communication Workers of America joined elected officials at a rally at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, demanding President Donald J. Trump and the federal government step up their recovery operations in Puerto Rico and cancel the island’s $72 billion debt. “We can’t afford to waste any more time,” said DC 37 and Local 1549 president Eddie Rodriguez at the lunchtime rally, across the street from Federal Plaza. “Our brothers and sisters on the island desperately need our help now.” Like many Puerto Ricans throughout the United States, Rodriguez has been unable to contact family members who live on the island. Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma and destroyed the island’s power grid. The Oct. 4 rally was organized by Vamos4PR, a coalition of union and community [More...]

DC 37-backed Candidates Win in Four Key City Council Races

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37’s activism helped determine the winners in the Democratic Primary elections earlier this week. “We focused our efforts in districts with high density DC 37 membership, communities where literally thousands of DC 37 members live,” said DC 37 Political Action director Jeremy John. Those areas include southeast Queens, central Brooklyn and northern Manhattan/the Bronx. An army of more than 200 DC 37 activists, volunteers and leaders began making phone calls and knocking on doors in July and helped provide the margin of victory for Mayor Bill deBlasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous City Council candidates, in particular: Francisco Moya, District 21 (Queens) Adrienne Adams, District 28 (Queens) Alicka Samuel, District 41 (Brooklyn) Diana Ayala, District 8 (upper Manhattan/Bronx) Ayala took to Twitter on the day after the primary to express her [More...]

City Launches Free School Lunch Program with Help from the Union

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After DC 37 spent years battling City Hall to make sure all students, regardless of their ability to pay, receive a hot meal at lunch time, free lunch will now be available to all of the city’s 1.1 million students. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in making this happen,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “With this change in policy, learning just became easier for many kids in our schools.” Garrido joined Chancellor Caren Farina, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and activists from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition on Sept. 6–the day before the beginning of the new school year–at PS 51 in Manhattan to mark the start of the new program. “This is about equity,” Farina said at the press conference. “All communities matter.” DC 37’s Local [More...]

Volunteer to Become an Activist in Your Community, the Workplace and Politics!

August 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

“I convinced myself I didn’t have time to add a new responsibility to what’s already a pretty long “to do” list. But there are too many troubling things going on in the country right now and I believe that playing an active role in my union is a meaningful way to take a stand for my family, my community, my colleagues — and myself.” That is how Local 1549’s Teddy Jarrett describes becoming a DC 37 Volunteer Member Organizer (VMO). Despite their busy schedules, DC 37 members like Jarrett are getting involved in their union to help organize workplaces, strengthen alliances with community groups and back candidates who support working families. Their participation comes as public service workers are under fire around the country. Unless they get involved now, members risk losing rights that the union has built up over decades. Anti-labor politicians are passing legislation [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for the Sept. 12 City Primary

July 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

On July 18, District Council 37 announced its endorsements of candidates for NYC elected offices in the Primary Elections on Tuesday, September 12. Among the endorsed candidates are NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough Presidents Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Gayle Brewer of Manhattan, Ruben Diaz, Jr. of the Bronx, Melinda Katz of Queens and James Oddo of Staten Island. The union also endorsed 46 candidates for City Council seats, including the following incumbents in these competitive districts of particular interest to the union: Antonio Reynoso in District 34 (Bklyn-Queens), Laurie A. Cumbo in District 35 (Bklyn), and Carlos Menchaca in District 38 (Bklyn). The contests in the following open districts are also of special interest: Carlina Rivera running in District 2 (Manhattan), Diana Ayala in District 8 (Bronx-Manhattan), Marjorie Velazquez in [More...]