Leading the Way

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...]

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...]

Rise Up and Become a Union Activist

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Stand up, get involved and organize! Starting on March 12, the DC 37 Organizing Dept. begins a series of activist trainings at DC 37 Union Headquarters, in Room 2. These intensive two-part sessions will be held from March to June. These sessions will offer valuable tools and advice for participants to work in strengthening DC 37’s collective voice and to equip members with the necessary knowledge to move our union forward together. In the year ahead, the union faces many challenges, and it is critical for DC 37 members and retirees to become leaders at the workplace and in their communities. “These activist trainings 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, [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...]

DC 37 Black History Month Events

February 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37’s Black History Committee kicked off a month long celebration of African-Americans and their achievements, culture and contributions at the 38th annual Black History Month celebration at union headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “This is the time of year we come together to celebrate African Americans as a people and share our heritage and culture,” said Deborah Pitts, the union’s Black History Committee chair and Secretary who is president of Local 1113. Pitts, Associate Director Oliver Gray and Assistant Associate Jamila Joseph cut the ribbon to welcomed guests as a dozen local presidents and committee members attended the festive grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the union gallery. Locals will sponsor events throughout February to honor and commemorate the African American legacy of struggle and advancement that [More...]

Our Union, Our Power

June 29, 2018 // 2 Comments

By MIKE LEE Capping what was perhaps was its most contentious and partisan session in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn precedent and establish so-called “right-to-work” in the public sector nationwide. The decision in Janus is the latest in a series of outrageous court, legislative and administrative actions pushed by a cabal of anti-union extremists to define the rules of the nation’s economy even more in favor of the 1 percent by trying to weaken the power of unions. At a City Hall press conference after Janus v. AFSCME was announced, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido was defiant. “Our lives will not be determined by a Supreme Court decision,” he said. “It is the desire of working people to stand up and collectively say we are stronger together and that in unity is our power. We shall not be stopped.” Later that afternoon, city unions [More...]

Statement by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Janus v. AFSCME Decision

June 27, 2018 // 1 Comment

Today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision smashes precedent and overturns the Court’s unanimous 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which upheld the maintaining of a union shop in a public workplace. Make no mistake: Janus v. AFSCME was always a politically-motivated case designed to rig the rules of the economy even more in favor of the privileged and powerful by weakening unions. What our country’s highest court did today was to, in effect, make so-called “right-to-work” the law of the land for public employees. Let’s remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said nearly 60 years ago about so-called “right-to-work” laws: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]

DC 37 Launches Women’s Leadership Academy

May 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

NOTE: The deadline for applications is extended to June 15. By DIANE S. WILLIAMS District Council 37 is preparing women for future leadership roles through a six-month training program that begins in June. Local leaders, officers and activists are invited to apply to the union’s Women’s Leadership Academy. The application deadline is May 31. To encourage diversity, DC 37 seeks applicants from every experiential, racial and socio-economic background for the Women’s Leadership Academy. The course begins with a conference call orientation in June. The program requires participants to complete an interim project and attend a final session in January 2019. Participants will learn to: develop high-level presentation and communication skills, develop strategic planning skills for internal organizing, create a personal five-year plan, establish a mentoring relationship with a seasoned [More...]