POLITICAL ACTION

Shocked but not surprised: Trump budget is more pain for working families

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO I have said it before in this space: Budgets are not just numbers, dollars & cents. When presidents/governors/mayors present a budget, they are telling you what they value, who they value. What their priorities are – and what they are not. Donald Trump the candidate thundered on during the campaign about how he was going to make life better for millions of American families left behind by economic inequality and stagnant wages. To date, Donald Trump’s signature accomplishment is his so-called tax “reform.” As a candidate, Trump claimed his tax plan was going to help working families and target the rich. But the tax bill that President Trump signed into law “spread tax gains unevenly across income brackets, with high earners enjoying the biggest windfalls,” according to National Public Radio. Under his tax plan, rich real estate investors — including [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]

The Future of Housing in Your Community

February 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

As DC 37 activists, you can play a part in helping to shape the direction and development of your neighborhood. Part of the union’s Leading the Way campaign includes a series of Community Association meetings in March that the DC 37 Political Action Dept. will host on the topic: The Future of Housing in Your Community. These midweek evening meetings are scheduled for members’ convenience in every borough. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend one near you. Invite your coworkers and neighbors, the union’s got your back and theirs too. Political Action Dept. staff will be at each venue to provide up-to-date information and answers to your questions about housing, union benefits and services, and more. Be sure to support your union at this upcoming community event. All DC 37 members and retirees are welcome. Invite and bring your concerned coworkers, friends and neighbors. [More...]

A Generation Rises at Women’s Leadership Graduation

February 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS With a packed audience of family and mentors to cheer them on, the Woman’s Leadership Academy graduated a diverse group of 17 working women from a dozen locals, DC 37’s first class of future labor leaders, at a Feb. 23 ceremony celebrating the milestone event. “One hundred women in Congress, the Women’s marches, and now you graduates are poised for leadership– these are exciting times for women!” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Leadership means fighting for what you believe to be right. This union is leading the way fighting for better pay, for funding for libraries, for public hospitals and vital public services.” Garrido along with Education Fund Administrator Diallo Shabazz brought the AFSCME women’s leadership training to DC 37 in 2018. Chosen from dozens of applicants, the 17 WLA participants enrolled in an intensive six-month [More...]

Stand up for Parks! Rally at City Hall Feb. 28

February 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Join DC 37 and other members of the Play Fair Coalition to support city parks at a City Hall rally on Thursday, Feb 28 at noon. This year, we are focused  on increasing the city’s Parks expense budget by $100 million to fund critical maintenance and operations that will ensure all New Yorkers access to safe and healthy open spaces while creating good, green jobs, and improving the environment. The union will stand with Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Barry S. Grodenchik, New Yorkers for Parks, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and more 40 other Play Fair Coalition members will launch a new multi-year budget advocacy campaign for our city parks According to NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, at least 130 million people use our parks every year. It’s time to Play Fair for Parks. Parkland comprises 14 percent of all City-owned land, but the Parks Department [More...]

A New Hope

February 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO At the beginning of last year, many pundits and labor advocates were pessimistic about the future of the labor movement. First, the U.S. Supreme Court was expected to rule in favor of the plaintiff in the anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case. Many believed an adverse ruling would hurt public employee unions financially and lead to a loss of membership. Second, we were worried about the country’s political climate. In Washington, D.C., the Trump administration — with its huge tax giveaway to the rich, lifting of regulations, and efforts to dismantle Obamacare — was clearly pursuing an agenda aimed at hurting working families. Meanwhile, a well-funded, extreme, right-wing net-work continued to carry out a nationwide campaign to kill off unions. But guess what? The doom-and-gloom scenario never happened. Chicken Little disappeared from the landscape. At DC 37, our [More...]

Local 1549 Conference: A Call to Action

January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 200 shop stewards, activists and union leaders attended Local 1549’s annual conference on advocacy and political action on Jan. 26. Each year, the local holds the conference reviews its political and legislative priorities. Its purpose is to educate shop stewards and chapter chairs about key and critical issues, giving them background information to share with their coworkers. But beyond spelling out the local’s agenda, the conference serves as a call to action. Local leaders and panelists reinforce to conferees the importance of getting involved in politics and community issues—in addition to being the voice of the union in their workplaces. “We have to protect each other,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez. Local 1549’s 2019 agenda includes: The 911 surcharge. Winning back jobs taken over by the state to the Human Resources [More...]

Activists Gear Up for the Jan. 19 Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square

January 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members will be among thousands of demonstrators expected to turn out for the Women’s Unity Rally on Saturday, Jan. 19. We will gather at 10 a.m. on Foley Square, at Lafayette and Worth Street, in downtown Manhattan. We encourage participants to come dressed in DC 37’s color–green. To register for the rally, go to http://bit.ly/2019Women. For more information, contact DC 37’s Office of Community Partnerships Director Raul Rodriguez by calling 212-815-1502 or emailing raulrodriguez@dc37.net. The mission is to raise women’s voices through education and activism. Stand with us arm-in-arm in defense of women’s and immigrants rights. The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 public service workers in New York City and surrounding [More...]

Dept. of Education Employees Honored at Ceremony at DC 37

November 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS More than 1,000 Dept. of Education employees in a dozen DC 37 locals were recognized for two decades of dedicated service to the city and its 1.1 million schoolchildren at a Quality of Work Life ceremony at union headquarters Nov. 14. “A child will remember your smile, your words of encouragement, and the kindness you show. That interaction may be the only positive adult interaction some children have at that time in their lives,” Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said. Carranza celebrated with the audience made up of school support staff who had reached 20 years of employment at the city Dept. of Education. “You really care about the children, our schools and our city,” he told the staffers. “Gracias! Thank you for a job well done!” The QWL ceremony coincided with National Education Support Professionals Day and honored school support staff [More...]

DC 37 Played Key Role in Statewide Elections

November 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In an election that featured one of the highest voter midterm turnouts in recent history, the efforts of DC 37’s vaunted Green Machine were pivotal in finally breaking the Albany legislative gridlock by helping several local state senate candidates to victory. The state’s top elected officials were all re-elected with union help. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, while New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand scored easy victories. Letitia James, the city’s Public Advocate and a stalwart DC 37 ally, was elected New York State’s first African American Attorney General, winning by a landslide. “Tonight the working men and women of New York spoke loudly and clearly about our values, our priorities, and how we want to run our state,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “In record numbers, [More...]