By Stephon Johnson
The union 32BJ SEIU has been busy this past month announcing endorsements and praising the victories of those they have endorsed.
The union has endorsed incumbents in 14 congressional races in the New York, Long Island and Hudson Valley areas. It endorsed Tom Suozzi in District 3, Greg Meeks in District 5, Grace Meng in District 6, Nydia Velásquez in District 7, Hakeem Jeffries in District 8, Yvette Clarke in District 9, Jerry Nadler in District 10, Carolyn Maloney in District 12, Adriano Espaillat in District 13, Joe Crowley in District 14, José Serrano in District 15, in Eliot Engel in District 16, Nita Lowey in District 17 and Sean Patrick Maloney in District 18.
“New Yorkers can attest that these candidates work hard every day to represent working people, support good jobs and immigrant and civil rights,” said 32BJ President Héctor Figueroa in a statement. “32BJ SEIU proudly endorses these candidates for re-election and will work with them to ensure they represent the values and needs of working families in the nation’s capital, push back against the Trump administration’s anti-worker and anti-immigrant policies and advance racial and climate justice.”
Over in New Jersey, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka celebrated a re-election victory last week, declaring that he “won big” during a Tuesday night election night party.
Kevin Brown, vice president and New Jersey State director of 32BJ SEIU, championed Baraka’s accomplishments
“Mayor Baraka has been a steadfast leader in the fight for justice and equality. During his first term in office, Mayor Baraka and several City Council members have pushed forth a progressive agenda which lifted up working families and all Newark residents,” said Brown in a statement. “He has enacted paid sick leave, raised the minimum wage for Newark workers, advocated for higher wages, benefits and much-needed union representation for Newark Airport workers and ensured that Newark remains a fair and welcoming city for everyone.”
Last week also marked the Paterson mayoral election victory of Andre Sayegh. The mayor-elect and councilman, who lost a bid for mayor in 2014, will take over July 1, after the reign of Jane Williams-Warren (who replaced the scandal-riddled former mayor José Torres).
“Thank You, Paterson,” said Sayegh on Facebook.
Brown praised Sayegh’s record and said he would champion working-class causes as mayor.
“As a progressive Councilman and as a past member of Paterson’s Board of Education, Sayegh opened preschools to make city streets safer and helped homeowners afford to stay in their homes,” said Brown in a statement. “Mayor-elect Sayegh, a strong supporter of labor, has previously said unions ‘support working families’ and are an important part of Paterson’s history and its future. We know that he has the best interests of workers in mind. There’s no questions he’s been a tireless advocate for working men and women, and we believe he’ll continue to do so as mayor.”