From 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa:
Last night working families won big in the New York City Primaries. A majority of the Democratic candidates endorsed by our union or other unions won their campaigns and became the candidate for the November general elections. Our union congratulates all the winning candidates and thanks the 32BJ members who voted and volunteered to get out the vote.
Yesterday our 32BJ SEIU purple once again earned the respect and appreciation of New Yorkers from across the city. I am incredibly proud of the many members of our union who went above and beyond, spending weekends and time away from family to talk to other working people about our issues and how important politics is in our everyday lives. They were led by an extraordinary team of member political organizers who went out day after day to have real conversations at people’s homes and in their neighborhoods about the things that matter to them and their loved ones. It is because of this work, dedication and commitment that we are now better positioned to fight and win good contracts, organize non-union workers and to continue passing pro-worker legislation in City Hall. As long as we are actively involved, elections are an opportunity for us to promote our mission and issues and build the capacity and strength of our membership.
Not all our candidates won but our issues certainly did. Democratic primary voters have spoken and the message is clear: they want a city that works for all, a government that creates good jobs and helps bring more people into the middle class. Democratic primary voters agreed with us on the issues that are important but did not agree with us that Speaker Chris Quinn was the best candidate for Mayor; last night Democrats chose Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio. We respect that decision. Voters did, however, agree with our endorsements in many, many races, including the critically important race of City Comptroller where the election of Scott Stringer showed how workers can beat fame and money.
Democrats still need to persuade fellow New Yorkers of this message of good jobs, strong communities. Electing a pro-worker, pro-union mayor remains a goal and the most important thing we can do to win a fair contract for school and residential workers next year. Make no mistake: the current field of Republican and Independent candidates do not share the vision and message voters supported yesterday. This election is by no means over and we will need each and every one of you to continue supporting our union’s political work.
During the coming days the 32BJ Executive Board, the elected representative leadership of our union, will discuss and decide whether to endorse Bill DeBlasio for Mayor. His focus on growing income inequality, better public education for all of our children, protecting all New Yorkers equally, and building affordable housing is consistent with our mission and program.
As we make plans for the October 1 runoff and the final November 5 general election, please get involved and continue to make our union and our city strong.