April 30, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY Rank and file union members, local councilmembers, and TWU officials stood with State Senator Adriano Espaillat Thursday outside the Kingsbridge bus depot in Inwood, who had just received the endorsement of the 42,000-member strong Transport Workers Union Local 100. Espaillat is running for the 13th Congressional district seat which Charles Rangel has held for over 30 years. Mr. Rangel has said he will not run again, setting up what will likely be a contentious Democratic primary in Harlem. This is the third time TWU Local 100 has backed Espaillat for Congress, and union leaders hope this is the one that sends him to Washington.
In a statement, TWU President John Samuelsen praised the Senator’s record on transportation and his long-standing support of New Yorkers. “Adriano Espaillat has always stood with working New Yorkers, and for a better transportation network for our city. From helping secure funds to rehab train stations right here in Upper Manhattan to fighting to stop funding cuts to the Second Avenue Subway, Senator Espaillat has proven to be true champion we can count on and I am proud to endorse him for Congress. We need Senator Espaillat in Washington to help build the transportation infrastructure our city needs for the next 100 years.”
Senator Espaillat in turn thanked Samuelsen, and the men and the women of the union, singling out their “loyalty and friendship,” to him, and “to straphangers, the average New Yorkers who take public transportation to get to work on time.” He promised to go to Washington to fight for more funding for the transit and infrastructure of New York, which he said has increasingly been denied in years past. “It’s been almost ‘sexy’ to deny New York City the money it needs,” he declared.
Earl Phillips, TWU 100’s Secretary-Treasurer, told LaborPress that “Senator Espaillat has been involved in our fights for many years. He understands our issues.” He said the Senator became part of the fight for the Lock Box Bill to protect transit funding, for bus partitions, and added that Espaillat stood with the union against Mayor Bill de Blasio on Vision Zero. “He understands blue collar workers and their day-to-day troubles, especially in the hazardous environments they often work in.” He continued, “Some officials forget about our transit system. He gets it. He will be a strong and effective voice in Washington. He stood with us so many times and today we are proud to stand by him.”