POLITICAL ACTION

Union-Backed Candidates Score Big Wins Citywide

September 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 activists were out in force on Primary Day, September 13, going door-to-door to get out the vote for the union’s endorsed candidates. In the weeks preceding the primary, they also made thousands of telephone calls from union phone banks. “We have to support those candidates who support our issues,” said union volunteer Luis Romero, a member of Local 1597, who went knocking on doors in Brooklyn. Retiree and Local 371 member Aurea Mangual was assigned to Co-op City in the Bronx. “We had a nice turnout of volunteers,” said the veteran activist. “So much is at stake now for working families and public service workers on the national, state, city and local levels,” said Political Action Director Jeremy John. “It is crucial that we continue to build an army of activists to engage our members in the political process and help shape the future of our [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for Primary Day on September 13

September 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The Green Machine, the union’s team of activists, has been busy making telephone calls on behalf of candidates endorsed by District Council 37 for the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “DC 37 volunteers will be on the phone and on the streets from now until primary day to ensure victory for these candidates,” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The candidates we have endorsed have solid records and demonstrate their dedication to their communities.” There are five state legislative races that are a priority for the union. In Brooklyn’s race to represent the 19th District, the union is supporting state Sen. Roxanne Persaud. She served as president of the 69th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie and is a member of Community Board 18. Persaud is an advocate for seniors and has introduced legislation to protect the elderly against [More...]

Trump: No Friend of Workers

September 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers. He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.” When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours. A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services. Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary [More...]

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]

Activists Collect Signatures to Support Safety Net Hospital Bill During Harlem Week

August 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 had a great day in Harlem at the annual Harlem Week festivities in August as union activists kicked off the signature campaign urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to enact the new Enhanced Safety Net Hospital bill. The union petitions add community support for new legislation that would protect the safety net of public hospitals in New York State threatened by unprecedented funding shortfalls. Safety net bills (A. 9476-A)/(S.6948-A), which the state Senate and Assembly passed in June, creates a true safety net definition based on the number of Medicaid and uninsured patients served. With the definition, additional funding can be negotiated in the next state budget cycle to safety net providers, including the public hospitals, and would increase the opportunity for federal matching funds. Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried, and Assembly members William Colton, [More...]

DC 37 Announces Key Endorsements in the City’s Primary Election for State Legislative Seats

August 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 has endorsed candidates for six state legislative races in New York’s Tuesday, Sept. 13 primary. The union backs Sen. Roxanne Persuad, Democrat from Brooklyn’s 19th District. Born in Guyana, Persuad was a higher education administrator. Prior to serving in the state Senate, Sen. Persuad was president of the 69 th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie, a member of Community Board 18 and commissioner on the New York City Districting Commission. DC 37 also supports State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky of the 16th District in Queens. A fighter for social justice, Stavisky is the assistant Democratic leader and ranking minority member on the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, working to improve public schools and programs for older adults. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the 33rd District in the Bronx also gets the union’s nod. Rivera is a native of Puerto [More...]

DC 37 Endorses Jamaal Bailey for State Senate in Primary Election

July 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 has endorsed  Jamaal Bailey for the 36th New York Senate District in the state’s Democratic primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “Jamaal Bailey is a smart, energetic young leader who has played a vital role in his community and would bring fresh perspectives to Albany and the Senate at a profoundly challenging time in the life of our state government,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said on June 30. “He shares our union’s values of social and economic justice for all and the belief that government can and should be a force that transforms lives and communities for the better. DC 37 volunteers will be on the phones and on the streets to ensure that Jamaal represents the northwest Bronx in Albany in 2017.” “To receive the endorsement of District Council 37 is such a great honor,” Bailey said. “The members are dedicated [More...]

DC 37 sets Lunch Time/Union Day meetings in July

June 6, 2016 // 1 Comment

The DC 37 Organizing Dept. will hold a Lunch Time Meeting and a Union Day in July to spread the word about union benefits and encourage members to become more involved in the union. “These events are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, political activities or protecting coworkers in the workplace.” Come join us at at a lunch time meeting, get to know your union. Below is the meeting schedule. Lunch Time Meeting: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm; 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm July 7 @ Medgar Evers College (Edison O. Jackson Auditorium) Union Day: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm July 14 @ Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th St., Long Island City, NY 11101 (3rd Floor, Room 322, please bring [More...]

Fighting For Fair Budgets

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO As part of a coalition we played an important role in stopping nearly $1 billion in combined cuts in the state budget to the City University of New York and the city’s public hospitals. The fight-back is an example of how we participate in the political process to protect our jobs and the services we provide. The campaign involved demonstrations, lobbying, and social media, including collecting thousands of signatures for an on-line petition. Now that the Albany fight is over, we focus our attention on the city’s budget. We expect a busy couple of months ahead as the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio work out an agreement on the budget, which should be signed by the end of June. We have a number of priorities for the city’s fiscal 2017 budget that I want to share with you. ● We seek $65 million more [More...]

DC 37 Activists Help Clinton Win New York’s Democratic Presidential Primary

April 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Democratic Party presidential challenger Bernie Saunders filled Washington Square Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with thousands of his supporters who were feeling the Bern, but it was Hillary Clinton who rocked the vote in the primary election, winning a decisive victory over the senator from Vermont. Clinton received 58 percent of the vote while Sanders received 42 percent. “Our path has just gotten clearer,” said the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in her victory speech as the polls were closing in the April 19 New York primary election. With five more primary elections to be held before primary season ends on June 7, Clinton now has two thirds of the pledged delegates. A total of 2,383 delegates are needed to secure the nomination. With her path to the Democratic Party nomination almost certain, Clinton reached out to Saunders supporters [More...]