The New York City Mayor’s race surprised most political pundits when Michael Bloomberg won against Public Advocate Mark Green in this year’s general election. Bloomberg won 719,819 votes, or 50 percent, to Green’s 676,560 votes, or 47 percent. The remaining three percent were divided among the other political parties. Bill Thompson and Betsey Gotbaum easily won the positions of New York City Comptroller and New York City Public Advocate, respectively.
For months, Bloomberg had been considered a long shot, with Green easily holding a 15-point lead in the polls. But as the world of New Yorkers changed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, people’s perception of who should lead this city changed, placing much more of a priority on Bloomberg’s business background, according to an Election Day exit poll by NY-1. Local 802 was proud to have endorsed Mark Green for Mayor, and over the years has found him to be a true friend.
802 was very active in the political process in the months leading up to the election. President Bill Moriarity reached out to members via phone calls, letters and membership committee meetings. 802 members made phone calls, leafleted buildings, and volunteered on Election Day and on days prior. A Local 802 band, Candy Hinton and the Mystics, played throughout the night at Mark Green’s Election Night reception with the Local 802 banner waving proudly.
Mayor-Elect Bloomberg has an impressive background within the arts community. He has held a board position on the New York Philharmonic, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has also made a conscientious effort to reach out to the leaders in the labor movement within the first few days of winning the election. Local 802 looks forward to developing a relationship with his administration.
Local 802 was also deeply involved in this year’s New York City Council races, interviewing almost 100 candidates. The union endorsed candidates in most of the competitive races, and 23 of the candidates we backed went on to win their campaigns. Local 802 provided phone banks and volunteers to many of the campaigns we supported and, in all districts with endorsed candidates, 802 members received information about the candidates’ background through letters and phone calls.
There were very few competitive general elections, since many of the races were decided in the September primary. The winners of the competitive City Council seats that were won on Nov. 6 were : Tony Avella, District 19, Dennis Gallagher, District 30, Joseph Addabo, District 32, Marty Golden, District 43 and James Oddo, District 50.
The year 2002 will be a busy election year as well. The following elections will occur next year: New York State Governor, New York State Comptroller, and all State Assembly and Senate seats.
It is believed that Gov. George Pataki will run for reelection and, as of now, will not face a Primary Election. There are currently two contenders for the Democratic nomination: former Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo and New York State Comptroller Carl H. McCall. The New York State Comptroller position is an open seat, and the list of candidates is still shaping up. Who will challenge seats in the State Assembly and Senate is yet unknown, but we will continue to stand by those candidates who have stood by us.
Local 802 again plans to heavily participate in next year’s elections, kicking off a voter registration campaign beginning in March. We also urge members to become involved on the legislative level. Throughout the year, Local 802 will introduce legislation on the state and city level and membership activism will be key to winning successful public policy. “Truth in Advertising” legislation, a bill that would require disclosure on tickets of “no live music” for any venue that live music is expected at, may be reintroduced on the city level. On the state level, Local 802 will be working to develop funding streams to provide pensions for jazz artists. As the year develops, other types of legislation will be introduced as well.
The strength of our union continually depends on members’ participation. If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, please contact me at (212) 245-4802, ext. 176.