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DC 37 makes endorsements; calls for mayor Bloomberg stop “eleventh hour” service cuts

Stephon Johnson | 10/31/2013, 2:41 p.m.
The largest public employee union in New York City revealed its endorsements for the New York Legislature on Election Day
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The largest public employee union in New York City revealed its endorsements for the New York Legislature on Election Day.

While District Council 37 already endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City, Letitia James for public advocate and Scott Stringer for city comptroller, the union also endorsed the likes of Gale Brewer for Manhattan borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr. for Bronx borough president, Melinda Katz for Queens borough president and Eric Adams for Brooklyn borough president. Ken Thompson also picked up a union endorsement for Brooklyn district attorney.

The union also endorsed Melissa Mark-Viverito, Inez Dickens, Ydanis Rodriguez, Peter Vallone, Inez Barron, Mathieu Eugene, Jumaane Williams, Darlene Mealy and Debi Rose for New York City Council.

“The DC 37 executive board endorsed this list of very qualified candidates, following a recommendation by the DC 37 Screening Committee, because of their proven record in support of the issuesimportant to the men and women we represent who work so hard to serve New York,” said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts in a statement. “We firmly believe that these candidates will best represent the interests of the labor community of our city and our state. Our endorsement brings with it a pledge to work diligently on their behalf with our powerful, sophisticated field operations to get out the vote. We have a proven record of successfully supporting our endorsed candidates.”

After revealing its endorsements, DC 37 continued its advocacy for constituents on Wednesday during a press conference at City Hall.

Joined by unions like SEIU Local 246, CWA Local 1180 and Health Services Employees Local 768, DC 37 called out the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation for temporarily closing North Central Bronx Hospital’s Labor and Delivery Department and potentially creating “dangerous consequences for low-income women and families in the northwest Bronx community.” On top of those cuts, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) plans on reducing hours for nine STD clinics that served close to 100,000 in 2012.

This comes off of the recent plan to close two of the city’s three immunization clinics in Queens and the Bronx right in time for school vaccination season. While the plans were initially halted, the DOHMH now plans to close those two clinics by Dec. 31, which would leave one immunization clinic left in New York, which is located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Union leaders called for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to end so-called “Eleventh hour cuts” to public health services and proclaimed that the city needs a mayor that favors public health.