POLITICS

Taxes and Inequality

April 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Thousands of demonstrators across the United States on April 15 — Tax Day — called for President Donald Trump to release his taxes. The protest was a reminder of the country’s unfair tax system and glaring inequality. And it was the opening act of resistance to what stands to become the next big political battle: tax reform. Having failed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Republicans’ health-care plan — which in itself would have deepened inequality — Trump aims to implement the greatest tax overhaul since President Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code in 1986. This is very troublesome, because the policies coming out of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have favored the rich and powerful — and the Trump administration’s tax “reform” plan continues in that vein. Trump’s federal budget proposal [More...]

DC 37 and Community Allies Fight Trump’s Public Housing Budget Cuts

April 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO If the Trump administration has its way and slashes $6 billion from the budget of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, members like Mary Baez and La’Nette Murphy will have to continue to wait as the backlog of repairs at their New York City Housing Authority apartments gets thicker. More than half of the funds to maintain NYCHA apartments–the largest housing authority in the country–comes from HUD. The proposed budget cut would also terminate the Community Development Block Grant program. The grants help fund programs like Meals on Wheels, which delivers healthy meals to the homebound and elderly. Baez is one of the more than 15,000 DC 37 members who live in apartments managed by NYCHA. The Local 768 member has lived at the Alfred E. Smith Houses in the Lower East Side for 40 years and remembers the good old days. Back then, same day repair [More...]

Public Housing Advocates to Protest Trump Budget Cuts on April 20

April 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Council member Ritchie Torres denounced Donald J. Trump’s budget cuts to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, which would devastate the New York City Housing Authority. Torres was joined by U.S. Congress member Jerrold Nadler (left). By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 is part of a coalition that is mobilizing against President Donald J. Trump’s plan to cut $6 billion from the federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s budget. The #NoCut  coalition will hold a rally at noon on Thursday, April 20, in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. Under the Trump cuts, HUD’s budget would shrink by 14 percent to $40.5 billion in fiscal year 2018, down from $46.9 billion in fiscal year 2017. Fifty-six percent of the New York City Housing Authority’s revenue comes from HUD. If the cuts go through, residents of NYCHA’s 238 developments could see their rents increased, and they will likely [More...]

New York is the Most Unionized State, By Far

April 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH SPECTOR New York’s union ranks dropped by nearly 5 percent between 2015 and 2016, but the state remained the nation’s leader in unionized workers. The drop of about 96,000 union workers in New York erased a 58,000 increase in union employees made between 2014 and 2015, according to recently released records by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, New York’s unionized workforce has remained fairly steady over the past decade — giving the state by far the largest percentage of union members of any state and bucking national declines in union membership. Union members accounted for over 23 percent of wage and salaried workers in New York in 2016. Nationwide, the average was almost 11 percent. So overall, New York had 1.9 million union members last year, second only to California with 2.6 million. “We take great pride in continuing to lead the country in union [More...]

Join the Climate Change March in Washington on April 29

April 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and prevent Muslims from entering the country. Those plans stalled when they came up against massive opposition. The Trump administration has been equally aggressive attacking regulations and laws that protect the environment. Trump’s new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t even believe human-caused climate change is a fact. He has said there’s “tremendous disagreement” about the impact people have on the environment. According to The Atlantic magazine: “This is wrong… Pruitt’s claim runs so counter to the findings of the international scientific community, to the conclusions of the U.S. government, and even to the marketing materials of the oil-and-gas industry that it is difficult to label it anything but a falsehood.” So it’s [More...]

A Health Plan Implodes

April 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO It was nice to see the Republican health-care plan implode in late March. Here are just some of the ways the GOP plan would have affected New York and the country: ●New York state would have been hit with a $3.7 billion hole in its health-care budget. ● Deep Medicaid cuts to New York City would have devastated NYC Health+Hospitals. Some 200,000 residents who rely on the public health care system would have lost their health care. The loss of federal funds would have stuck NYC H+H with millions of dollars in annual deficits. ● Some 10 million people nationwide benefited from the Medicare expansion under the ACA. They would have lost their coverage. The Medicare expansion was funded by taxes on the wealthy. The elimination of those taxes would have given the power elite a windfall of $350 billion over 10 years. All told, under the GOP plan the wealthy would have [More...]

Congress Prepares to Attack Unions

April 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

Amidst the never-ending hot winds of Trump-era controversies and scandals, U.S. Reps. Steve King and Joe Wilson in February introduced the National Right to Work Act before the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, H.R. 785, promises, “To preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If enacted, this law will destroy the rights of workers to organize throughout the nation, turning the United States into Wisconsin, which under the leadership of Koch Brothers puppet Gov. Scott Walker, destroyed the collective bargaining rights of tens of thousands of workers in the state. This bill is a dagger to the heart of labor. The law introduces poison into the New Deal-era National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act — laws that were passed to [More...]

DC 37 Joins Campaign to Extend and Expand the State Millionaire’s Tax

March 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 joined a broad coalition at the state capitol on Tuesday, March 7,  to rally in support of expanding the millionaire’s tax and closing a loophole that benefits the financial sector. These are two key measures that would raise billions of dollars in new revenue from the wealthiest New Yorkers. Hundreds of community, labor, and faith leaders, joined by policy experts, influential advocates, and dozens of state legislators, called for these measures to be added to the state budget. A new report from the hedge fund watchdog group Hedge Clippers revealed that closing the carried interest loophole would raise at least $3.5 billion in revenue annually. This loophole allows hedge fund and private equity firms to report fees as capital gains rather than ordinary income that is taxed at a higher rate. A bill to recapture this revenue as ordinary income has strong support in both [More...]

Resistance

March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We cannot sit on the sidelines. The stakes are too high. The attack against working people— bankrolled by people like the billionaire Koch brothers—is relentless. And they are closing in on us. Last year, we won a temporary reprieve when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on the Friedrichs case, which aimed to defund public employee unions by allowing workers to withhold dues payments despite receiving union services. The anti-union National Right Work Legal Defense Foundation is now behind several similar lawsuits making their way up the judicial pipeline to the Supreme Court. With the financial support of the foundation, government employees in three states — school workers in New York, teachers in Pennsylvania and medical center workers in California — simultaneously filed lawsuits in January that challenge the constitutionality of the right of unions to [More...]

Local 372 Backs Mayor’s Plan to Hire 300 New School Crossing Guards and Supervisors

February 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO For three straight years New York City has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities, with 2016 being the safest-ever. Aiming to make sure accidents continue to drop, Mayor Bill de Blasio has included $400 million in the proposed 2018 budget for the Vision Zero traffic enforcement program. The funds will used to improve street designs, lighting and add 300 School Crossing Guards. De Blasio’s new budget will allow for the hiring of 100 School Crossing Guard supervisors and 200 additional part-time School Crossing Guards. With these additional positions, all schools will now have a School Crossing Guard. A mobile replacement squad will also be created to make sure schools are covered in the event a SCG is absent on a particular day. “Every school now will have a School Crossing Guard assigned to them, this is what we have been fighting for the last couple of [More...]