Rozic Makes “Bold” Run
September 6, 2012
By Joe Maniscalco
“I’m not going to get pushed around.”
That’s the kind of representative first-time candidate Nily Rozic says she’ll be in the New York State Assembly. And if the long list of over 10 major labor unions supporting Rozic’s run for the 25th District seat is any indication, many are already convinced.
“I’m not just gong to go along,” says Rozic, 26. “I realize there are limitations, but I’ve developed a really good skill set.”
That skill set was actually acquired in the state capital where Rozic, also a member of Community Board 8, served as chief of staff to Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh after graduating from NYU.
“My best experiences in Albany have been sitting down with labor leaders, and also rank and file members, talking about the issues and coming up with constructive, creative ideas,” Rozic says. “At my core I’m a progressive Democrat. Albany needs someone who knows how to negotiate the landscape, but also someone that will create solutions and encourage conversation.”
Should she emerge victorious in the race to represent the district where she grew up, Rozic plans on attacking a list of priorities that includes increasing the minimum wage, strengthening pensions, expanding workers compensation, enhancing mass transit, and advocating for campaign financing reform “so that corporations don’t have a stranglehold on legislators.”
“We need to level the playing field and public financing of campaigns will do that,” Rozic says. “There’s nothing more convincing of the need for public financing of elections than being a first time candidate trying to run for a statewide office.”
Labor unions backing Rozic’s run include Boilermakers Local 5, CWA 1106, CWA 1180, CWA District 1, Elevators Constructors Local 1, Heat & Frost Insulators Local 12, Mason Tenders District Council, Metal Lathers Local 46, Teamsters Joint Council 16 and UAW.
This past year, Rozic led an effort to reject a Far Rockaway drug rehabilitation center’s bid to relocate in the district because she was concerned about the quality of jobs that might be generated.
“I was the only member of the community board to actually ask whether or not they intended on using union labor,” Rozic says. “I believe that if you’re opening up a new development or bringing a project to the district, then it should be good paying jobs. And union jobs.”
To fight against the rising tide of union bashing overall, Rozic advocates building strong coalitions with “like-minded legislators who will stand up.”
“Not only in committees, but in the chamber and at rallies,” Rozic says. “We need to highlight different aspects and humanize the issue. We’re not talking about something obscure. We’re talking about my mom who is a UFT member, or my neighbor who is part of the nurses union. We’re talking about real people.”
Rozic, a product of the highly-ranked Towsend Harris High School in Queens, emigrated from Israel with her parents when she was two-years-old. She is a member of the Hillcrest Jewish Center, as well as the Townsend Harris HS Alumni Association, and continues to be concerned with issues facing new immigrants.
“We need to be educating the next generation and opening up more opportunities,” Rozic says.
In Rozic’s view, Albany is definitely in need of a “different and bold voice.”
“And that’s why I decided to run for this office,” she says.