The Nov. 6 general election was entering the home stretch as this issue went to press. Public Advocate Mark Green, who won the Democratic endorsement for mayor after a closely contested runoff against Fernando Ferrer, now faces a formidable challenge from Republican Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg News.
Green’s campaign benefited from the work of thousands of volunteers all over the city, reminding people to vote on Thursday, Oct. 11 – the first time in decades that a New York election has been held on any day but a Tuesday. SEIU 32B-J, the Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York and Long Island, UNITE and several other unions mobilized their members for Election Day. Dozens of 802 members helped to “get out the vote” for Green on Election Day and in the days leading up to it, making phone calls and handing out palm cards. Their help really made a difference.
Mark Green still needs our help. With a competitive general election looming, it will take a large field operation to ensure that he becomes the next mayor. Bloomberg, who has opted to spend millions of dollars of his own money in this race, is not subject to spending limits imposed by the Campaign Finance Board. The Green campaign can only offset Bloomberg’s spending if thousands of union members volunteer. To do so, please call (212) 245-4802, ext. 176.
In other campaign developments, Betsey Gotbaum won the Democratic runoff for NYC Public Advocate against Norman Siegal. Local 802 had endorsed Assemblymember Scott Stringer for this race; he will continue to be an advocate and an ally for us in the New York State Assembly.
The advent of term limits meant no incumbents were running for 36 of the 51 City Council seats. Local 802 interviewed close to 100 candidates for these seats months ago, and the Executive Board made endorsements in 28 districts. Twenty-two of those candidates won their primaries, a 79 percent win rate. Following are the winning primary candidates that Local 802 endorsed:
In Manhattan: Margarita Lopez, District 2; Christine Quinn, District 3; Eva Moskowitz, District 4; Gifford Miller, District 5; Gale Brewer, District 6; Robert Jackson, District 7; Phil Reed, District 8; Bill Perkins, District 9, and Miguel Martinez, District 10.
In the Bronx, Local 802 endorsed Oliver Koppel, District 11, and Madeline Provenzano, District 13.
In Queens, 802 supported Hiram Monserrate, District 21; Peter Vallone Jr., District 22; Mark Weprin, District 23; Jim Gennaro, District 24; Eric Gioia, District 26; Melinda Katz, District 29, and Elizabeth Crowley, District 30.
Brooklyn candidates endorsed by the union were David Yassky, District 33; Al Vann, District 36; Angel Rodriguez, District 38; and Tracy Boyland, District 41.
Although most City Council seats were decided by primary races, a few contests will have competitive general elections that 802 needs to lend support to on Nov. 6: The union is supporting Tony Avella in the 19th City Council District; Elizabeth Crowley in the 30th City Council District and Joanne Seminara in the 43rd City Council District.