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Citizens Union


Quinn Picks Up Vaunted 32BJ Endorsement

by Daniel Stein-Sayles, Jun 25, 2013

Dressed from head to toe in purple, Christine Quinn picked up a long-awaited endorsement from 32BJ today.

Union members rallied behind Quinn and 32BJ President Hector Figueroa in a sea of purple shirts at the unions headquarters in lower Manhattan as they broke out into chants of all in for Quinn."

"Having worked with her side by side for so many years," Figueroa said, I like to tell you that she is not only a good manager, but a great human being and somebody who sincerely believes in our families, our children, our workers."

Full of allusions to glass ceilings and calling Quinn a sister to the cause, Figueroa said that Quinns record on living wage as well as stop-and-frisk helped make her the best City Council speaker."

He praised her willingness to engage with labor on the issue — a quality he said Mayor Michael Bloomberg lacked.

When a reporter asked if the union would have supported Quinn if she hadnt supported paid sick day legislation in April after three years of blocking it from a vote, Figueroa said that 32BJ might have reevaluated but that they were already looking at Quinns campaign long before her sudden shift.

For Figueroa, the next mayor doesnt have to agree with everything his members want.

While Figueroa and Quinn dismissed the notion that the citys labor unions are divided, todays endorsement further highlights a lack of unity within the movement. 

Just last week, former Comptroller Bill Thompson got a nod from the United Federation of Teachers. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio enjoyed support from healthcare union SEIU 1199, and Comptroller John Liu was endorsed by public employee union DC-37. 

And while Quinns received support from many smaller groups, todays announcements marks her biggest union endorsement to date. 32BJ boast some 70,000 members from New York Citys various service sectors, which Figueroa promised would be mobilized soon.

Last week, rumors began to swirl that 32BJs endorsement might have landed on de Blasio because of his more progressive agenda and unwavering support of paid sick leave.

However when asked if he intended to be at 32BJ headquarters at an earlier, unrelated press conference, de Blasio told press, we have no such plan at this moment."

Despite not getting the 32BJ endorsement, Figueroa still spoke highly of the Public Advocate.

"He was a strong choice for 32BJ," he told reporters after todays press conference. We love de Blasio. We wish him well. Hes a brother."

— Daniel Stein-Sayles

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