POLITICAL ACTION

NYC Charter Revision Proposals: Vote No on #4!

October 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the city’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. We now have an important opportunity to help amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues. This election, there are five Charter Revision proposals on the ballot. Most are sensible plans to curb undue influence in elections, enhance police accountability and increase government transparency. But then there’s Proposal #4. Proposal #4 calls for the creation of a mysterious “rainy day fund” without any clarity about where the money comes from – or where it will go.   And at a time when many city agencies are understaffed and as the union pushes to resolve issues that have left too many “hard-to-recruit” titles unfilled, we are troubled by [More...]

DC 37 Recommendations on the New York City Charter Amendment Proposals

October 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the City’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. This fall, New Yorkers have an important opportunity to amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues, from elections to police accountability. Election Day is November 5. Early ballot voting begins October 26. This year there are five proposals on the ballot to amend the Charter: Proposal # 1: Elections Establish a “rank choice” voting system for all municipal primary and special elections (Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, City Council). Extend the required time period to hold special elections if an office becomes vacant during a term. The time period would change from 45 to 80 days. Amend the timeline for redistricting to [More...]

Into the Fray: Union Begins Training for Future Leaders

October 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Dozens of DC 37 members with aspirations to become part of a new generation of progressive, elected officials recently attended the first Emerging Leaders Candidate Academy. The introductory session, held at union headquarters on October 8, is the first of three meetings with members who have stepped forward to run in future local, state and federal elections. With DC 37’s guidance, their dreams may very well come true. The participants come from a variety of backgrounds, but with a single goal in mind: to make a difference by entering the political arena. Christopher Birch, from Washington Heights spoke about the need of being part of the political process. “I need to be at the table,” he said. “I don’t want to be knocking at the door and asking for a little, when I can be part of the decision process for my district.” Angela Guyton-Cyril, a member of SSEU Local [More...]

Union Supports Legislation to Create Universal Savings Program for Private-Sector Workers

September 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members joined elected officials, seniors and other activists in the rotunda of City Hall on September 23 to support proposed legislation to create a universal retirement savings program for the approximately 1.5 million private-sector workers in the city who lack access to a savings plan through their employer. “Retirement security should be a right and not a privilege,” DC 37 Assistant Associate Director Jahmila K. Edwards said. “New Yorkers are working harder than ever and they have nothing to show for it.” The event preceded a City Council hearing on the legislation, which is sponsored by members Ben Kallos and I. Daneek Miller. Mayor de Blasio spoke in favor of the proposal. “We have people who are working and don’t know whether they can retire,” de Blasio said. “This is not what we signed up for. This is not the American Dream.” He [More...]

Building Worker Power

September 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO As Labor Day approached this summer, a well-known polling organization, Gallup, released its annual, national survey on public attitude toward unions. The findings were remarkable: Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of labor unions, one of the highest approval ratings in the past 50 years — much higher than Trump’s or Congress’. Young people overwhelmingly support unions. In fact, the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to have a positive view of unions. Sixty-seven percent of people between ages 18 and 34 approved of unions. Across all party lines — Democrat, Republican, independent — union approval has increased by 16 to 17 points. This survey comes on the heels of a 2018 study that found a growing number of Americans want to join a union: Nearly half of non-unionized workers said they would join a union if given the opportunity to do so. [More...]

UNION STRONG, UNION PROUD: Labor Day Parade 2019

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Thousands of union members and supporters marched up Fifth Avenue Sept. 7 to show the world that they are working together to build worker power in New York York City. Throughout the day, midtown Manhattan thundered with the sounds of labor unity and activism. DC 37 members filled 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. for more than two hours before marching behind a banner that declared, “Never Quit!” Bolstered by the recent, historic unification of DC 1707’s private sector workers and DC 37’s public employees, members chanted, danced and celebrated worker pride. Led by Executive Director Henry Garrido, DC 37 marched as a single mass, a defiant force showing its enhanced power. In what has become a tradition in recent years, members took the opportunity to boo loudly as they passed Trump Tower. More than a dozen elected officials stopped by in solidarity to pay [More...]

DC 37 Offers Help to Workers Running for Political Office

September 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

  Do you have what it takes to run for political office? Will you be part of the change we need to fix the outdated and rigged system so working families can finally win? Our city needs more elected officials who understand the challenges working people face. DC 37 is leading the way, providing the tools, training and support for union members to run for political office. Join DC 37’s Emerging Leaders Candidate Training to learn effective campaign strategies and explore a wide range of topics that will prepare you to run and win! The first training session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5 at 125 Barclay St. in Room 1. Participating members must commit to all three Saturday classes of the training. The other sessions will be held  Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Space is limited. You must register by Monday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. to attend. Please contact Omi Harris by email  [More...]

Summer School and Sisterhood

September 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Women comprise more than half of DC 37’s membership. And one of our union’s highest priorities is to support the ascent of women within the ranks of leadership and activism. Toward that end, a contingent of DC 37 women attended a week-long boot camp,  hosted and coordinated by the City University of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies, at Hofstra University,  , where they honed their union-building skills. “It really motivated me to continue encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the labor movement,” said Dept. of Education Employees Local 372 member Trina Prior. The DC 37 activists who attended are all graduates of the Women’s Leadership Academy, a program initiated by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  At DC 37, the program is named in honor of former Executive [More...]

Union, City Settles Preschool Teachers Pay Gap

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

After long marches, huge demonstrations and weeks of intense negotiations, the City of New York and the NYC Day Care Council have reached a tentative contract agreement that will benefit more than 4,000 members of Day Care Employees Local 205. At issue is the wide pay gap between teachers who work in community-run preschools — which enroll the bulk of students in the city’s free, universal pre-K program — and those who teach in public school classrooms overseen by the education department. The new agreement would steadily boost salaries for pre-K teachers over three years, eventually matching what starting teachers in public schools make. Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the agreement historic, and noted the past difficulties of recruiting and retaining educators at community-based centers. DC 1707 Executive Director Kim Medina praised the Mayor [More...]

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 1 Comment

  BY MIKE LEE Overcoming staunch political opposition from the real estate industry, New York City has embarked on an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse emissions citywide. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides and other Council members and community leaders in announcing OneNYC2050, an ambitious green initiative that comes on the heels of the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Climate Mobilization Act, spearheaded by Constantinides and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, provides $14 billion in investments to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. DC 37’s involvement was key in lobbying the City Council, working with community and environmental groups to rally support for the legislation. “Climate justice is the moral imperative of our [More...]