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More endorsements for Bill de Blasio in Brooklyn

Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio, center, with Public Advocate candidate Letitia James, right, and dozens of elected representatives, candidates and union backers. Photo: Mary Frost

Unions, officials throw support to progressive candidate

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The crush of supporters at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza was almost overwhelming on Thursday as representatives from dozens of organizations and political movers and shakers came together to endorse Bill de Blasio in his run for mayor of New York City.

De Blasio garnered just over 40 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary but thousands of paper ballots have still to be counted, leaving a runoff with Bill Thompson a possibility.

“Progressive” was the word often repeated by those voicing their support, including 32BJ SEIU, the Hotel Trades Council (HTC), the Working Families Party (WFP), CUNY Faculty and Staff, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Planned Parenthood of NYC Political Committee, and a long list of Assembly members, Council members, district leaders and candidates. The newcomers joined de Blasio’s long-time supporters including the 1199SEIU healthcare workers, the New York State Nurses Association, LICH supporters, Public Advocate candidate Letitia James and others.

“We’re all ready for progressive change in this city,” de Blasio said. “It’s a humbling moment for me to be among so many organizations seeking to make New York City better.

“Some say it’s divisive to talk about the challenge of inequality in the city. But the acceptance of inequality is not an American value,” he said, adding that the gap between rich and poor has grown over the 12 years of the Bloomberg administration. “It’s time to stare in the face this tale of two cities and end it.”

De Blasio listed what he sees as major problems facing the city, saying he had “big, bold progressive solutions.”

“We need to fix the schools so every child gets a good education. They are all our children,” he said. “That’s why we need a tax on the wealthiest to fund full day pre-K and afterschool programs for every middle school child.”

De Blasio criticized stop and frisk, calling it an injustice, and called for a new police commissioner and a “strong independent inspector general.”

He also listed a plan to build affordable housing. “I’ve said to the real estate industry they have every opportunity to build and profit, but people’s needs have to come first.”

And he said he stood for “healthcare for all – a tangible and real idea. New York City does not need luxury condos – I’m interested in saving our hospitals.”

As the crowd applauded and shouted praise, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told de Blasio, “Brooklyn produced more votes for you than any other borough – twenty thousand more than Manhattan.” He issued a challenge: “Let’s see if they beat us in November.”

Congressman Jerry Nadler called de Blasio “a man for this time” and said he was very impressed “by how Bill waged his campaign. He has substantive ideas and a bold policy agenda. For those who say his plans are too ambitious, he has shown that the ‘impossible’ is truly possible.”

"Bill de Blasio is the progressive reformer we need as mayor," said Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU. "He put the concerns of working families front and center in his campaign, and we know he'll fight hard to ensure New York City remains a place everyone can call home.” He added that he was “proud to be in the family. We all come from different streams, but we’re converging into a mighty river.”

Peter Ward, President of the Hotel Trades Council, said, "We’re immigrants, people of color, working women, and single parents. We’re the face of New York, and there’s 30,000 of us. From supporting expanded workers' rights to fighting for paid sick days for all New Yorkers, Bill will be a mayor for all New Yorkers, in every borough.

“He cares about all New Yorkers, including those whose voices have all too often gone unheard," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). "Too many New Yorkers are struggling just to survive in this city and they need a champion like Bill de Blasio.”

James Matison, executive director of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, told the Brooklyn Eagle that he would be fine with de Blasio’s plan to tax the wealthy to fund universal pre-K "if he kept the tax at ½ percent on income over $500,000.

"When Bloomberg got elected he said he would double the number of children in preschool. This indicates he recognized its value, but it never happened. We believe our new Mayor De Blasio will fulfill that promise.”

___________________________________________________

Thursday’s endorsers:

Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU
Peter Ward, President of the Hotel Trades Council
Working Families Party (WFP)
Congressman Jerry Nadler
Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
Former Congresswoman and NYC Comptroller Liz Holtzman
Planned Parenthood of NYC Political Committee
Assembly Member and Chair of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus Karim Camara
Assembly Member Deborah Glick
Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal
Assembly Member Nily Rozic
Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder
Assembly Member Michael Simanowitz
Assembly Member Gabriela Rosa
Assembly Member Rafael Espinal
Assembly Member Dick Gottfried
Assembly Member Michael Miller
State Senator Dan Squadron
State Senator Kevin Parker
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Gustavo Rivera
State Senator Joe Addabbo
State Senator Martin Dilan
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Tish James
Council Member Donovan Richards
Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Erik Dilan
Council Member Danny Dromm
Council Member Steve Levin
Council Member Jimmy Vacca
Council Member Dan Garodnick
Former Council and Assemblymember Guillermo Linares
City Council candidate Ritchie Torres
City Council candidate Carlos Menchaca
City Council candidate Corey Johnson
City Council candidate Helen Rosenthal
City Council candidate Antonio Reynoso
Democratic nominee for Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson
United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 9A
Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 891 President Robert Troeller
International Union of Operating Engineers Local Unions 94, 94A, and 94B President Kuba Brown
District Leader Mark Levine
District Leader Paula Melendez
District Leader Corey Provost
District Leader Frank Gulluscio
Former Community Board 1 Chairperson of Lower Manhattan Julie Menin

Updated Sept. 16 to correct James Matison's title from president to executive director of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, and to add more detail which was inadvertantly left out.

September 12, 2013 - 4:09pm


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