activism

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 College 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...]

Join the Campaign to Support Tenant Rights

April 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in New York. As part of the Housing Justice for All coalition, DC 37 supports an Albany legislative agenda that would expand tenant rights, stabilize neighborhoods and eliminate the control corporate landlords have over housing throughout the state. The coalition is pushing the state legislature to pass nine bills before the session ends at the end of June. Each bill helps protect tenant rights by limiting the ability of landlords to gouge prices and raise rents exorbitantly. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido noted our union’s progressive history and its commitment to helping all of New York’s working families. “We have always been concerned with more than wages, working conditions and pensions for our members,” he said.  “The fight for stronger tenant rights and more affordable housing is among our [More...]

Union Rallies for Climate Justice

April 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union came out in force at City Hall Park to demand action on climate change and to support proposed legislation before the City Council. The legislation, Intro 1253, calls for direct proactive measures to address this vital issue and urges the creation of thousands of green jobs throughout the city. At the rally, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed the city pension issue. As a trustee overseeing the pension, Garrido has led efforts to divest from fossil fuel investments and shift money to green energy. Garrido told the crowd that city pension fund trustees are working to double the fund’s investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion. He said, “We are fighting for this because it is right thing to do. We cannot expect anybody else to do this for us. New York City should be the leader in taking a stand for climate justice.” The action was part [More...]

Local 1930 Official Honored With Labor Activism Award

April 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The International Women’s History Month Red Carpet for Social Justice honored Nina Manning, the secretary-treasurer of New York Public Library Guild Local 1930, on March 29 at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan. Manning was awarded the Audrey Smith-Campbell award which Local 1199 SEIU gives each year to an outstanding woman community activist and labor leader. The award is named in honor of activist Smith-Campbell, who died on the picket line during a 2008 strike for better health care and wages. This year, the annual Women’s Month event celebrated the diverse corps of women in the labor movement and included special guests New York State Attorney General Letitia James and U.S. Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — two women who made history in the 2018 midterm elections. On receiving the award, Manning said: “I enjoy working, helping, teaching and [More...]

Local 1549 Shop Stewards Help Energize the Union

October 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES More than 200 shop stewards in Local 1549 are fired up about carrying the union message to the workplace after they spent the Columbus Day weekend at a training conference. The stewards had a full agenda at the gathering, whose theme was “Rise Up & Stay Strong Shop Steward.” They learned about communicating effectively with their coworkers, organizing members to strengthen the union, dealing with workplace conflict, and getting involved in politics. “The conference provided members with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their skills in communicating with their coworkers and defending them in the workplace,” Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez said. “By gathering everyone in one place, the conference encouraged our stewards to interact and trade stories about what they do at work to be the voice of the union.” “We have this [More...]

Union Launches the New DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy

August 3, 2018 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Blazing a trail for the future of the labor movement, the new DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy held its inaugural meeting in July at union headquarters. As attacks on organized labor increase, the union is doubling down its efforts to protect and grow its ranks by training a corps of women rank-and-file as strong leaders. “One of the best ways to continue to move our organization forward and to show people the power they can harness when they come together is to train and prepare more future leaders now,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This leadership academy is composed of a select group of activists with promise and potential,” Barbara Edmonds, the union’s director of field operations, said. “We have with us strong women who can be counted on as mentors and women who will be ready to shoulder the responsibility of leading labor’s [More...]

Join DC 37 and Local 375 for the Women’s March on New York City, Jan. 20

January 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37 members! Join Local 375 on Saturday, Jan. 20, to raise your voices to demand equality for all at the 2018 Women’s March on New York City. Why are we marching? In the past year, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, the religious and nonreligious, people of color and environment activists have struggled to survive under the cruel weight of the Trump administration. Affordable healthcare for millions is threatened. We must stand together to demand and defend our rights. Let our collective voices echo from the streets of New York to Washington, D.C. Show the world that red, white and blue are the colors of tolerance. The rally begins at 11:30 a.m. at Central Park West between 61st and 62nd streets. The block in front of the stage will be reserved for those with disabilities. The march starts at 12:30 p.m. and will go past Columbus Circle, east on 59th [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...]

Community Activists and DC 37 Push for Universal School Lunch

May 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO “I think we’re missing an opportunity to use available federal funding to make school lunches free,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said when he was on the campaign trail in 2013. As mayor, he’s made universal pre-kindergarten available and is pushing for free day care for 3-year-olds. But he has not yet delivered on a campaign pledge to provide universal free lunch. To remind him of his campaign promise, members of DC 37, the United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, as well as public school parents, students and other community residents took to the steps of City Hall on Monday. They urged him to include $20 million in the city’s budget for free school lunches for all New York City public school students. Board of Education Employees Local 372 president Shaun D. Francois I recalled helping needy kids when he worked in [More...]

DC 37 Launches “100 Days of Resistance” Campaign

February 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) They are coming for us. Today, Republicans introduced national “right-to-work” legislation. Last night, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. These are just the latest assaults against labor emanating from the White House during the new president’s first 100 days in office, and we anticipate these attacks to intensify. Trump pledged to roll out his agenda right away, and he is moving at a quick pace, catching the progressive community off-guard. Through executive orders, [More...]