Bronx, NY – City Council Member and chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee Carmen De La Rosa stressed the importance of strengthening workers’ rights throughout the city at LaborPress’ annual golf outing and legislative briefing held at the Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Courses on Friday, May 20.
“I know first-hand what it is like to live in a union household, and I know the opportunities that come to families like mine when you have a stable income, when you have benefits that you can count on, and when you have a labor family around you supporting not only you but your family,” De La Rosa said
The former New York State Assembly Member now representing Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill in the New York City Council, immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic with her mom, who was a union member.
De La Rosa served on the Labor Committee during her time in the Assembly where she championed the rights of construction workers cheated out of their wages.
“We’re looking forward to continuing that work in the City Council,” De La Rosa said. “New York City is the economic center of the world and we have to make sure that our workers are protected.”
De La Rosa became the first Dominican woman to represent District 10 in the New York City Council when she was elected last year. She is also one of 31 female City Council members in the 51-member body.
“Our new female majority, 31 out of 51 members, are women — and we are going to be legislating with a lens of compassion, a lens that puts people first,” she said. “I’m so excited to continue to do that work with all of you, hand-in-hand, as the Labor chair.”
De La Rosa has thus far held two hearings since becoming Labor Committee chair in February. The first hearing explored how New York City can strengthen workers’ rights in light of threats to collective bargaining nationwide. The second hearing explored increasing opportunities for women in the Building Trades.
“Clearly I’m a woman — I’m the first woman to hold this position in the City Council from my own community — but we also know that there is a growing number of women in the Trades, and we want to make sure that they have the resources they need in order to be successful,” De La Rosa said.
Going forward, the new Labor Committee chair wants to hold a hearing on Local Law 97, a law that the City of New York enacted to reduce carbon emissions from buildings. The law places carbon caps on most buildings larger than 25,000 square feet.
She also wants to continue work supporting farm workers, who do not work in New York City, but whose labor in the fields Upstate provides fresh produce to numerous fast food establishments and restaurants here.
In addition, De La Rosa wants to expand child care so that women in the Building Trades do not experience barriers as they advance — and she also wants to address ongoing worker fatalities.
“As I mentioned, we have legislation to create a worker fatality database in New York City to make sure that there is transparency around negligent contractors that may allow workers to die at their sites, so we want to make sure that there is accountability,” she said.
De La Rosa concluded by saying she’s very proud that she ran as a Labor candidate during last year’s campaign, and that she prides herself on being someone who listens to the community and leads.
“We’re here today to listen, take questions and work with you to make sure that your industries and companies have access to a city that is ready to invest in all of you,” she said.
Prior to serving in the Assembly and City Council, De La Rosa worked as chief of staff for former council member and current Department of Transportation Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez.
Vito R. Pitta, co-managing partner at Pitta LLP called the Labor Committee chair a “veteran of New York City politics.”
LaborPress is marking the 10th anniversary since its founding.