April 2, 2012
By Marc Bussanich, LaborPress City Reporter
Assemblymember Rory Lancman of Assembly District 25 received an endorsement today, March 28, for Congress from the Communications Workers of America Local 1182. Lancman is running for the Congressional seat left vacant by Gary Ackerman’s retirement. Local 1182’s President, James Huntley, said that his local is endorsing Lancman’s congressional run because he champions working men and women’s economic betterment and safety.

“It’s simple why we’re endorsing him. He was right there from the start to support us in making politicians and the public aware of the need to pass a Felony Assault Bill for Sanitation Enforcement Agents and Traffic Enforcement Agents said,” Huntley.

SEAs are responsible for issuing summonses for recycling violations, public health and health code violations, such as unleashed dogs and vendors not properly disposing of litter, respectively. TEAs are responsible for preventing interruptions to traffic flow in the city.

SEAs play an important role in keeping the city clean, but they are also at risk of intimidation and sometimes bodily harm by the recipients of summonses who direct their anger towards the agents. According to Huntley, the bill includes a provision that could imprison anyone convicted of physically assaulting an SEA or TEA from two to seven years in a state prison.

Lancman has authored or co-sponsored a long legislative list, but he told LaborPress that he’s very proud to have co-sponsored the Wage Theft Prevention Act, which took effect in April 2011, “that protects workers from having their wages literally stolen by unscrupulous employers, which is a widespread problem, especially among low-wage workers,” said Lancman.

He’s also proud to have co-sponsored the construction industry’s Fair Play Act, which clarifies who is and who isn’t a full-time employee and penalizes employers for misclassifying employees as independent contractors or paying employees off the books.

Lancman also sponsored an expansion of the Martin Act (the state’s security regulations act), which he said would have accomplished two things if it got into the state budget for FY2013.

“The expansion would have allowed public and union pension funds the power to use the Act to recover losses suffered from the Wall Street meltdown, which led to billions of dollars in loses, and also would have made clear that individual citizens could initiate lawsuits against investors for financial fraud,” Lancman said.

Asked what he’d say to a potential voter on the street why they should vote for him, Lancman said that he’d emphasized his leadership abilities. “I’ve been a leader on issues that levels the economic playing field for working people and on holding Wall Street accountable.”

If he makes it to Washington, D.C., Lancman said he’d pursue the issues that have been important to him in New York. “The financial reforms that were implemented after the financial meltdown in 2008 did not only not go far enough, but those reforms are now being undermined and rolled back by Republicans. We have a lot of work to do to equalize the economy’s benefits among workers, investors and consumers.”

On the foreign policy front, Lancman co-sponsored an Iran Divestment Legislation that would bar companies that invest in Iran’s energy sector from doing business with the state or local governments. He doesn’t believe the legislation will adversely harm any New York-based company, especially the mom-and-pop shops on Broadway opposite City Hall, but does insist that “we need to force global companies to make choices to not be party to Iran’s nuclear bomb ambitions.”

He’s hopeful that a diplomatic solution is reached, but noted, “If military action against Iran is what is necessary to ensure that Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear weapon, it’s action I would support.”


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