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Why our union supports Christine Quinn

Hector Figueroa | 8/29/2013, 9:45 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 9:45 a.m.
Hector Figueroa

The importance of this year’s election cannot be overstated. In less than two weeks, we will go to the polls to begin the process of electing a new mayor.

In the past 12 years, our city has recovered from the tragedy of 9/11 and the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression. The city is once again a world-class city and engine of wealth and economic growth. But most New Yorkers—particularly working people and communities of color—have not shared in the city’s fortune. That’s why we need a mayor who will lead us down a new path, a mayor who will fight for the middle class, for hard-working men and women, for better and safer schools and for economic fairness for everyone. That’s why our union, 32BJ SEIU, has endorsed Christine Quinn in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

In her career, Quinn has worked side-by-side with our union on the issues that matter most to workers, and she has a proven track record of getting things done.

She worked with us to pass a prevailing wage bill for workers on subsidized developments, build more affordable housing across the city and give nearly 1 million New Yorkers paid sick leave for the first time. She has fought alongside airport workers who want a fair wage and meaningful benefits, the ”carwasheros” who want to unionize, fast-food workers, and the men and women who clean our schools and keep them safe.

She also has championed common sense immigration reform, supported responsible development to create thousands of good jobs, restored millions of dollars to the city’s education budget and, just last week, courageously led the drive to override the mayor’s veto and create an inspector general for the NYPD.

It will not be an easy race. We have a quality field of candidates, but 32BJ is committed to Quinn, as well as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for comptroller and Letitia James for public advocate. Accordingly, we have launched a vigorous campaign to get out the vote.

We have been getting out on the streets not just to get voters to cast ballots but to build a movement of informed New Yorkers who talk to their co-workers, family members and community about the issues important to them. For instance, last week we took an open-air bus tour through Queens, the south Bronx and Washington Heights to speak with voters.

We have 1,000 of our strongest member leaders volunteering to mobilize and direct door-to-door canvasses in 13 hotly contested communities of color because we believe the Latino vote—along with the African-American and Afro-Caribbean vote—will be crucial. We will have thousands of volunteers out on the streets when voters go to the polls.

Quinn, along with Stringer and James, stands out as the best candidate. Quinn is the best candidate to lead us in these challenging times. She is a consensus-builder who will find ways to unite us rather than divide us. She is an experienced manager and legislator who gets things done. She will fight for working people, and we are confident she will be the next mayor of New York.