April 6, 2017
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – The NYS Laborers’ PAC (NYSLPAC) and the Mason Tenders’ District Council PAC (MTDCPAC), the two political action committees that represent 25,000 members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) in New York City, have announced a list of early endorsements for New York City Council.
LIUNA-NYC, has endorsed a select number of incumbents that have advocated for policies that will improve the construction industry for all workers. From advocating for safer worksites, to advancing legislation that will require middle class wages and high-level training. According to the group, these incumbent councilmembers have demonstrated an understanding of the issues that impact LIUNA members.
“These early endorsements recognize councilmembers who have demonstrated a commitment to our members, particularly in the area of worker safety and training. Construction is a complex and dangerous industry that requires a high skill level and training,” said Robert Bonanza, Chairman of the MTDCPAC. “After a record level of construction related fatalities and injuries – LIUNA-NYC decided to join forces and support candidates with a record of supporting the values of the unionized construction industry.”
The unions represent asbestos, lead and hazardous waste abatement workers; general construction laborers involved in all facets of construction from buildings, to roads & bridges, to parks; demolition laborers; drillers and blasters; high school teachers in the Catholic diocese of Brooklyn; pavers; private sanitation and recycling plant workers; and tunnel workers (aka sandhogs).
“Safety, middle class wages, training, fairness in contracting, and job creation are of great importance to the Laborers,” said John Hutchings, Director of the NYSLPAC. “We have a very diverse membership in New York City. We build highways and bridges and buildings. We excavate sites and pour concrete. We even dig the subway tunnels beneath the streets of New York. The wide array of professions practiced by our highly-skilled members need solid representation. These endorsed candidates represent just that.”
The endorsed incumbents are Manhattan’sCorey Johnson (3rd CD), Ben Kallos (5th CD) and Ydanis Rodriguez (10th CD); The Bronx’sRitchie Torres (15th CD) & Rafael Salamanca (17th CD); Queens’ Costa Constantanides (22ndCD), Barry Grodenchik (23rd CD), Rory Lancman (24th CD), Daniel Dromm (25th CD), I. Daneek Miller (27th CD), Karen Koslowitz (29thCD), & Elizabeth Crowley (30th CD); Brooklyn’sStephen Levin (33rd CD), Carlos Menchaca (38th CD) & Jumaane Williams (45th CD); Staten Island Deborah Rose (49th CD).
Deidre Olivera, member of Laborers’ Local 731, is endorsed for the seat being vacated by the term-limited Darlene Mealy in Brooklyn’s 41st District.
“”I have been a member of LIUNA for 17 years, and I know firsthand what it truly means to be a ‘Laborer’,” said Deidre Olivera. “As a working tradeswoman, in a union, I was able to provide for my family, earn a pension, and be sure I would return home safely every night to my son. Now running for City Council, I am ready to ‘work for you’ to bring my experiences to fight for all working people to have the same benefits. I couldn’t be more grateful and humbled to receive the endorsement of my brothers and sisters at LIUNA-NYC.”