New York elected officials flocked to Park Avenue to support 32BJ SEIU in its contract talks with building owners. Thousands of 32BJ SEIU union members gathered for a rally featuring speeches from many of those elected officials and culminating in a vote to authorize a strike should negotiations fail. Elected officials attending included Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and many state and city legislators.
Our full photo gallery is available here.
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo brought his campaign to a close with three rallies across the state. He kicked off the day in Manhattan with a very large labor-driven rally at the edge of Times Square. The rally marked Cuomo’s first 2014 campaign appearance with both Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, each of whom are also up for reelection tomorrow. Kathy Hochul, multi-party candidate for lieutenant governor, was also part of the rally. Held out on 7th Avenue, the rally stretched at least two blocks (visible to me), with the Cuomo campaign reporting that the rally went for four blocks.
It was a strong showing in support of the four statewide candidates, with many of the leading names in New York’s labor movement speaking. Among them were George Gresham of SEIU 1199, Stuart Appelbaum of RWDSU, Gary LaBarbera of the Building & Construction Trades Council, Hector Figueroa of 32BJ and Peter Ward of the Hotel Trades Council.
Left unsaid by the labor leaders and candidates, however, was which party or ballot line they’re urging their supporters to choose in voting for all four candidates. All four are Democrats who also appear on the Working Families Party, Independence Party and Women’s Equality Party ballot lines. Cuomo has energetically pushed the “Women’s Equality Party”, a ballot line he created this year. Many see that effort as attempt to draw votes away from the Working Families Party, which counts many of the same unions appearing today as it’s core constituency.
With the rally held a stone’s throw from the theaters of Broadway, it seemed fitting that Hector Figueroa set part of his rally speech to music.
Update – Cuomo Speech:
Governor Cuomo gave a fiery speech today, harshly attacking Republicans who use “hate” to “try to divide us”. Our full analysis is here. Here’s his full speech:
Update #2 – Highlights:
Here’s our highlight reel:
Today Mayor Bill de Blasio assembled many of New York City’s labor leaders in support of his pre-K/after school program initiative. The labor leaders, including George Gresham, Stuart Appelbaum, Michael Mulgrew, George Miranda, Peter Ward, Vinny Alavarez and Hector Figueroa, pledged to work in support of de Blasio’s initiative.
Here is de Blasio’s press Q&A.