April 19, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – “Brothers and sisters in the UFT, you know how to do this!” were Mayor Bill De Blasio’s word to a packed house Wednesday night at the UFT headquarters in downtown Manhattan, at a rally for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The candidate herself was not in attendance.
The Mayor was joined onstage by UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Manhattan
Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, and Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook.
He and the other guests called on the crowd, who had gathered to sign up for and organize efforts on behalf of the campaign, to utilize all of their skills from knocking on doors to outreach via social media, to make Clinton a winner in the upcoming primary.
“I am deputizing all of you,” said de Blasio. “Hillary Clinton wants to feel like when you knock on those doors, you are her personal representative.”
After thanking the people in the room, many of them teachers, current and retired, who had “helped him become Mayor,” he went into specifics, stressing that beyond making the right choice in a candidate, it was “human-to-human persuasiveness, heart to heart” outreach that was what gets people to vote. Premiere reasons that Clinton is the right candidate, he said, included the fact that working families find themselves going backward. “We need paid sick leave, paid family leave – Hillary Clinton is not new to these issues.” “We need more fairness in our economy,” he said. He also said that families need full day Pre-K for every child. “Hillary
Clinton,” he said, “feels it – feels the needs of children in her heart.”
He also stressed Clinton’s “toughness,” which, he said, will be needed to “rein in Wall Street.”He pointed to how she had taken on health insurance companies in the past as proof that she’d be ready for the challenge.
Congressman Joaquin Castro exhorted the crowd to do everything they could to help elect Secretary Clinton. He pointed to Donald Trump’s trashing of immigrants who he said were “the foundation of this nation,” and hailed New York as “a place of immigrants.” “Make sure we elect someone who understands,” he said.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who identified herself as “a huge Hillary supporter,” said that New York’s primary is “the most important in the U.S.” “She has to win BIG,” she declared, listing several social media outlets as places they could use to contact anyone they knew and urge them to get behind Clinton.
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon echoed Brewer’s admiration for the candidate, as well as the importance of New York, saying, “New York will write Herstory.”
Afterwards, UFT President Michael Mulgrew expressed his concern about what would happen if a Republican got elected, saying, “it would really devastate workers in this country.” While teachers in New York, he said, had support and respect, nationally, efforts to defund public education and privatize it are rampant. In his opinion, Hillary Clinton is someone who can “get things done, instead of just talking about what is wrong.”