Leading the Way

City Library Leaders Discuss Pandemic Response

August 1, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE When 2020 began, the city’s three library systems — New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library — were building on their initial success in obtaining strong funding in last year’s budget. All three were in the process of providing an ever-expanding array of services to the public. They were also in the process of helping out with the 2020 Census and training workers and volunteers to assist patrons in filling out the forms in kiosks installed in the branches for that purpose. The libraries had begun to expand to meet patron needs, offering toddler story time, free computer access, and wifi. Along with a growing collection of multimedia items, the three library systems were able to provide afterschool, adult learning, and computer classes. When the year began, the city’s libraries — after years of underfunding — were vibrant, and the [More...]

Did You Vote Today? Polls Close at 9 p.m.

June 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

Sisters and Brothers, We have only a few hours left until polls close at 9 p.m. TONIGHT.  If you haven’t done so, please go vote and be the change we want in our communities.  You can look up your poll site here. Here’s the list of the progressive, labor-friendly candidates DC 37 has endorsed this year.  Your vote will make the difference in the outcome of these races. Please make sure you are taking proper precaution when voting, and always practice social distancing. Poll site locator.   [More...]

Request an Absentee Ballot for Primary Day June 23

May 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

As you may have heard, Governor Cuomo has made a series of changes that will impact this year’s primary elections.    In an executive order, he has cancelled the special elections for Queens Borough President, and the 31st Assembly District. The Governor has mandated, through executive order, that the state Board of Elections mail all registered voters a postage-paid absentee ballot application. While poll sites will remain open, an absentee ballot offers everyone the safest way to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Board of Elections plan is to mail these applications out by the middle of this month, but you can proactively request your ballot online by clicking here. Applicants must select “temporary illness” as the reason for the request. If you are quarantining away from your home, this gives you the opportunity to provide an address where you want your ballot [More...]

Don Nesbit Named Labor’s 40 Under 40

April 8, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS City and State magazine named Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit one of labor’s top leaders in its annual 40 Under 40 issue. Nesbit is an AFSCME Next Wave activist, and local union leader who chairs the DC 37 Political Action Committee and serves on the DC 37 Executive Board. “I woke up this morning to this! In the midst of this pandemic, the nonstop phone calls and the school visits with our Essential Workers, who I need everyone to CLAP for, I totally forgot about this honor,” he said. After congratulating all the honorees, Nesbit said there is plenty of room for other young activists and he urged their much needed participation. “I do not except anything alone, I accept this honor on behalf of ALL the 24,000 Local 372 members who service and help nurture the lives of 1.2 million children who attend NYC schools! They are the [More...]

MELS UPDATE: COVID-19 Federal Student Loan Relief

April 8, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Municipal Employees Legal Services is here to help members manage their student debt. Collection of Federal direct student loans has been suspended through September 30, 2020. During this period: Borrowers with federal student loans in repayment are excused from making their regular monthly payments. Involuntary collection activity must stop — No wage garnishment; no federal tax seizure and no Social Security reductions. No interest and no penalties will accrue. Borrowers have the option of continuing to make monthly principal payments. Borrowers in the student loan rehabilitation process will receive credit for suspended payments. FFEL loans not owned by the federal government, Perkins loans obtained through the state, and private student loans obtained through commercial lenders are not eligible for relief under this program. Borrowers in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness [More...]

Local 1407: We vote. We win.

February 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Local 1407 honored the history, heritage and achievements of African Americans at union headquarters on Feb. 10. Along with an entertaining performance by the Simba Dance Group, the event featured speakers who focused on the struggles ahead at a critical moment in this nation’s history. Maf Misbah Uddin, DC 37 treasurer and Local 1407 president, honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, how they transformed the nation and built a more-inclusive labor movement. Following Uddin, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of Dr. King’s legacy: “What we see here is that we celebrate the poetic existence of Dr. King and what he stood for.” “But we need to talk about institutional racism, and talk about segregation and talk about government providing for the very few, at the expense of the many. You cannot divorce the idea of what [More...]

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 2 Comments

  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...]