June 11, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY — MCU Park on the Coney Island Boardwalk – and right near one of the transit system’s biggest hubs and overhaul shops – was the perfect site for the Transport Workers Union’s annual Family Day event on Saturday, June 4, which this year brought an estimated ten thousand transit workers and their family members to thePark.
There was no requirement for admission besides being a union member in good standing, and that brought you a great day in the sun, with DJ’s, a magic show, softball games in the stadium, and – most importantly to many members – all the food and ice cream you could eat. There were no speeches by politicians, and Local 100 President John Samuelsen – who brought his two young boys – spent most of his time visiting the tailgate parties set up by union departments and engaging in one-on- one’s with members eager to catch the President’s ear.
Each of the union’s seven operating departments had their own tailgating area. Many vendors of services like insurance and health care had their own tables. The MTA and the union offered a health care fair on the upper level of the MCU stadium.
Each year, TWU’s family day seems to get bigger and better. A terrific magic show by Elliot Zimet held kids and adults spellbound, the union’s
huge childcare space teemed with bouncy castles and face-painting, and NBA great Chris Mullin was on hand to sign autographs. Local 100 also offered discount tickets to the Luna Park rides just steps away. Local 100 prides itself on being an inclusive union and had an area serving halal food to its Muslim members. Those who wanted to get into the surf only had to step up from the union’s Family Day onto the Coney Island boardwalk, so there truly was something for everyone.