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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

2021 #Laborstrong

Union support key in Adams, down ballot sweep in NYC elections

Photos: Mike Lee
Mayor-elect Eric Adams at a rally in City Hall Park in
lower Manhattan on Nov. 1.

A new morning dawned long before midnight as the votes were counted throughout New York City. Shortly after 9 p.m., it was clear history was made.

City voters, weary of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and beset with the issues of economic disparity, and racial and ethnic inequities, voted overwhelmingly for pro-union candidates citywide.

Eric Adams, retired NYPD police captain, former New York State legislator, and Brooklyn Borough President, was overwhelmingly elected as the city’s 110th mayor with 66% of the vote, defeating radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

In his victory speech, Adams spoke of taking the embattled city in a new direction, moving the city’s agenda to focus on the forgotten, and comprehensively addressing the economic stratification made clear during the pandemic.

“So brothers and sisters, and the people of our city—they have spoken. And tonight, New York has chosen one of their own,” said Mayor-elect Adams. “I am you. This is your victory, and I will carry your cause to City Hall. Tonight, we are going to make the turn and take our city in a new direction.”

Photos: Mike Lee
Henry Garrido, DC 37 Executive Director, speaking in support of Mayor-elect Eric Adams at a Nov. 1 rally in lower Manhattan.
That direction includes a fair and equitable economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, school reform, ambitious social programs, and a focus on the needs of the essential frontline workers, many of them DC 37 members who gave all in their service to the city during this recent crisis.

Democrats also easily won in other New York City races. Jumaane Williams won re-election as NYC Public Advocate, while Brad Lander won in his quest to become the next Comptroller. In the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan, respectively, Vanessa Gibson, Donovan Richards, and Mark Levine were elected Borough presidents.

DC 37 played a crucial role in reshaping the future agenda for the city. As part of the #LaborStrong2021 coalition, the union was joined by 32BJ SEIU, Communications Workers of America District 1, the Hotel Trades Council, and the New York State Nurses Association in endorsing the most labor-friendly City Council candidates. The coalition’s support made a vital contribution to massive victories for endorsed candidates in both the heavily contested June 22 primary and on Nov. 2.

DC 37 and #LaborStrong2021 candidates were elected, making the incoming City Council the most inclusive, diverse legislative body in its history. Next year, the City Council will be represented by the most women in its history, many of them women of color. It also will be the first time that the Council has a majority of female members.

At a Nov. 1 rally at City Hall Park in support of Adams, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed why the union worked so hard to ensure that Adams was the elected choice to lead the city out of this ongoing crisis.

“This election is a referendum on the kind of city government that we want to see, and the kind of leader we want to see in City Hall,” Garrido said. “We don’t have to have a conversation with Eric about the needs of City workers because he’s been there.”