PEP Apr – Jun 2021


June 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

Raul Domenech, Local 1501 President  I am a Senior Attendant at the New York Aquarium, where I clean and maintain the grounds. As an essential worker, I come in contact with the public daily.  As a union leader, I want to set an example, so I decided to get the shot. I did my research. The information on the union website helped me make my decision. I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April. During the height of the pandemic, I was very concerned for my family and my coworkers.  There was so much misinformation circulating back then. We didn’t know much about the coronavirus. At first, there was a shortage of PPE. I remember I met the DC 37 Safety Director Deborah Williams a few times in a Bronx parking lot to get masks for my members. I know coworkers who got sick from COVID-19. They were out of work for six weeks, two months. Some still have long-term effects from COVID. I [More...]

COVID-19 Cases Expose Workers’ Comp Failures

June 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Calling for immediate policy changes to fix the broken New York State Workers’ Compensation system, a coalition of unions joined the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) and attorney Robert E. Grey on April 27, to say the Workers’ Compensation system has failed some 250,000 workers who got sick on the job from COVID-19.  The group introduced policy changes and new state legislation (S.1241 and S.1721) that would make Workers’ Comp more accessible to workers sickened by coronavirus, regardless of language or immigration status. At the virtual press conference, Sen. Jessica Ramos, Chair of the state Labor Committee, said the legislation is an “effort to get more workers just relief.” The report authored by Grey revealed that of the 250,000 workers with symptomatic COVID-19, less than 10%, or just 21,000 workers, applied for [More...]

What is Ranked-Choice Voting

June 18, 2021 // 0 Comments

When New York City voters go to the polls for the June 22 primary election, they won’t be casting their vote for one candidate per position, but instead multiple candidates. Ranked Choice Voting, which was approved by voters in 2019, took effect this year and will be used to elect the Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough Presidents, and City Council members. In the District Attorney primaries in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Ranked Choice Voting will not be used. Instead of just choosing their favorite candidate, voters will have the option of ranking up to five in order of preference. The candidates for each office will appear in rows on the left side of the ballot, and each column will be labeled first through fifth choice. Voters will indicate a preference next to their top five candidates and have the option of leaving some blank. This process will not be used in November’s [More...]

DC 37 Supports Eric Adams for Mayor

June 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

Eric Adams, raised in South Jamaica, Queens, is a lifelong New Yorker and the son of a DC 37 member. At age 15, he was beaten by police in the basement of a precinct house. Instead of giving into anger, Adams steeled himself to reform the NYPD from the inside. In 1984, after graduating second in his class from the Police Academy Adams served in the New York Transit Police and the NYPD from 1984 until 2006, rising to Captain. He remains an outspoken activist against police brutality and for criminal justice reform. He also was president of the Grand Council of Guardians and co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. In 2006, Adams was elected to the New York State Senate representing the 20th District in Brooklyn, and then elected Brooklyn Borough President in 2013, where he has served the people of Brooklyn ever since. With his decades of experience as a progressive activist and [More...]


June 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

Eddie Rodriguez, President, Local 1549  A friend of mine was very concerned about my health, so she made an appointment for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine. On Feb. 28, I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine and I took my second dose in March. I have hypertension and I am pre-diabetic. Due to these health concerns, I decided to get the vaccine. I did it because of my age and because I love my family. Now that I have my COVID-19 vaccine card, I carry it as proudly as I do my union card.  I had no reaction to the vaccine. I know people are afraid. We cannot control how our bodies will react to the vaccine, but the fact is that the coronavirus kills. Whatever reaction we have is certainly not as serious as the potential of being infected and becoming very sick and dying. If you love yourself and you love your family, you have to get the COVID vaccine. Don’t think because you’re [More...]

DC 37 Supports Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate

June 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is an effective leader, a frontline fighter against injustice and inequality, and a guiding force for change. From Brooklyn of Grenadian heritage, Williams began his career as a community organizer and advocate for tenants’ rights after graduating with a master’s degree from Brooklyn College. In 2009, he was elected to the New York City Council representing Brooklyn’s 45th District. While a member of the City Council, Williams became a leader in the fight against then-Mayor Bloomberg’s abuse of the odious “stop, question and frisk” policy that targeted young men of color, and other important reforms of the NYPD. He sponsored the Community Safety Act, legislation that established major changes to city policing, including creating the Office of the Inspector General that oversees unlawful and unethical behavior by officers within [More...]

One of Us

June 14, 2021 // 0 Comments

We must make an important decision later this month. The Democratic primary is on June 22, and I urge all of you to vote. More than ever before, the upcoming primary election offers an opportunity for us to shed the failed policies of the past and decide the future of New York City—your city. I hope you will read our endorsements in this issue of PEP talk (pages 9-22) and consider why these candidates represent the change our city so desperately needs. At the top of our list of endorsements sits our choice for New York City’s next Mayor: Eric Adams. It has been said often in the past that the office of the Mayor of New York City is the third most important job in this country. The person holding this position oversees a budget larger than most states, employs hundreds of thousands of people, including our members, and makes executive decisions for good or ill on behalf of a city [More...]

Essential Workers #GetVaccinated

May 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

Laura Morand, Local 2627 President I got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 12. I could have gotten it a month early as a Fire Department employee, but I was hesitant.  I developed a lack of trust in the medical system after I was misdiagnosed on March 25, 2020. That day I was rushed by ambulance to Franklin Hospital in Long Island. I had a 101 fever and difficulty breathing. I was weak, achy and dizzy. I was fast-tracked to see a doctor but he denied me a COVID test and did not check me out thoroughly despite my symptoms. He gave me two Tylenol and an asthma pump and sent me home. I believe that if I were a Caucasian woman, doctors would have tested me for everything including COVID-19. Instead, they put on a Band-Aid and sent me back to work. The way I was treated hurt me but I was too weak to do anything about it.  When I didn’t get any better, I called our executive director [More...]