POLITICS

Unions Join Daughter to Fight the Deportation of Her Father

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and other unions are fighting the deportation of a Mexican undocumented worker who has lived 30 years in the United States. Many unionists joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials and the family of Martin Martinez at a rally in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s building in downtown Manhattan for a rally on June 21. In April, ICE detained Martinez — who fled poverty and violence in Mexico to come to the United States —and held him for two weeks. Apparently, ICE picked up the Newburgh resident because he was twice convicted for DWI about 20 years ago. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido described Martinez’s pending deportation immoral and at odds with the country’s values, which include welcoming the downtrodden of other countries to the United States. Garrido noted that the union is involved in another deportation [More...]

DC 37 Members and Community Activists Demand More Support for Public Hospitals

June 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a series of NYC Health+Hospitals annual meetings in May and June, hundreds of union members and residents sent a powerful message: Do more to save public hospitals! Activists reminded NYC H+H of its mission: to provide quality health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. As NYC H+H struggles to retain safe staffing levels, Leapfroggroup.com surveys show New York City’s public hospitals consistently provide better care than private hospitals. Employees said they work harder and longer with much less support, fewer supplies and dwindling staff due to attrition. “Working in constant crisis mode only leads to burnout,” said Nate Franco, a Local 768 member who spoke at Harlem Hospital’s packed forum on June 7. Dedicated NYC Health + Hospitals employees have staved off life-threatening outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, West Nile and Legionnaires disease, and [More...]

DC 37 Pushes Budget Agenda at City Council Hearing

June 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO As the deadline to approve Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.6 billion proposed budget for 2018 draws closer, four leaders from District Council 37 appeared before the City Council’s Finance Committee to advocate for more funds to expand city services. John Hyslop, president of Queens Library Guild Local 1321, pressed for more funding to modernize the libraries’ dated computers and install additional electrical outlets so customers can recharge their electronic devices and use their laptops. “The public wants better services in their libraries and we want the resources to provide those services,” said Hyslop, at the committee’s hearing on May 25. The network of libraries continues to provide an array of services for New Yorkers from adult literacy classes to programs for children and senior citizens. Our branches are overflowing,” added Hyslop. United [More...]

Constitutional Mischief

May 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As right-wing interests push for a constitutional convention in New York, a similar move is afoot around the country. But that effort has a different target: the U.S. Constitution. Whether the goal is to change a state constitution or the nation’s constitution, the risk is the same: Government services along with our personal liberties, civil rights and right to bargain collectively could be put on the chopping block. The anti-government American Legislative Exchange Council is working with state legislators on resolutions calling for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states can convene a constitutional convention when two-thirds of the country’s 50 states pass resolutions in support of a Convention of the States. Supporters have managed to get the backing of 28 legislatures. Right-wing [More...]

Library Advocates Gear Up for Friday Rally

May 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library supporters are gearing up for a rally on Friday to press the City Council to fund seven-day service and capital projects. The rally on the steps of City Hall–supported by DC 37 and the advocacy group Invest in Libraries–is scheduled for 10 a.m. The theme of the coalition’s campaign is, “Invest in libraries, Invest in All New Yorkers!” The group has two demands: an $24 million increase for daily operating to ensure that every City Council district has a library open seven days a week, and an additional $150 million to continue addressing $1.1 billion in capital needs. Last year, the city’s three public library system received support from the City Council to guarantee a permanent funding floor for six-day service. Now, the library systems seek additional funding to meet the public’s demand for seven-day service. The coalition is carrying [More...]

Protesters Confront House Speaker Ryan

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO  Angry activists lined the corner of W. 118 Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem and waited for the Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to tell him what they think of his support of the GOP’s new health-care plan, which threatens to leave a million New Yorkers uninsured. Instead of coming uptown to visit the city’s cash-strapped Harlem Hospital Center, which could lose millions in Medicaid funding, Ryan came instead to visit the Success Academy charter school. The school is part of the charter school empire run by Eva Moskowitz. “What this says to me is that he supports the privatization of public schools,” said Public Advocate Letitia James, who was at the protest in front of the school along with activists from Make the Road New, the New York Immigrant Coalition and District Council 37. “This is a dog and pony show for the charter school investors,” [More...]

Unions Mobilize on May Day Against Crackdown on Immigrant and Worker Rights

May 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Calling for the protection of immigrant and worker rights, DC 37 activists joined protesters in a march on May Day Demonstrators gathered for an evening rally on May 1 at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, before marching to Union Square to join another rally. During the protests, police arrested dozens of demonstrators. President Donald J. Trump was the subject of ire at the Foley Square rally, where speakers condemned his crackdown on immigrants, attacks on worker protections, and supporting policies that harm working families. “We will not allow him to stomp on the rights of immigrants, workers, Muslims, women and Jews,” Local 375 member Liz Eastman said. Demonstrators held placards with such messages as “New Yorkers for Immigrant Justice,” “No Ban, No Wall, No Raids,” “Resist Trump,” and “Defund ICE,” referring to the federal agency charged [More...]

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...]