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Public Employee Press

Members defeat convention, help re-elect de Blasio

Photo credits: Clarence Elie Rivera, Raul Rodriguez, EJ Dobson, Alfredo Alvarado
Mayor Bill de Blasio joins DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and union activists on Election Day in Harlem as they encourage New Yorkers to get to the polls.


New York state voters soundly rejected a ballot proposal to hold a constitutional convention. DC 37 was among the more than 150 community organizations and labor unions that joined the New Yorkers Against Corruption coalition to spread the word and get the vote out on Election Day against a constitutional convention.

“Union members across the state sent a strong message,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “We should all feel elated.”

Activists hit the streets to fight against the constitutional convention.
Every 20 years voters have the opportunity to change the constitution. A vote in favor of the constitutional convention could have empowered special interests to ram changes through to harm public employees and working families. A convention could have imposed spending restrictions on the New York State Legislature. Those spending restrictions could have resulted in deep cuts in government programs that help poor and working families. In addition, a convention would have cost tax payers $300 million.

“A convention would have put our pensions, workers compensation, collective bargaining and the right to join a union on the chopping block,” added Garrido.

This summer DC 37 activists began visiting neighborhoods, going door-to-door where members live and going to their workplaces to talk to them about the constitutional convention.

“Our team of activists and volunteers did a tremendous job of educating our members,” said Jeremy John, the political director of the DC 37 Political Action Dept.

On Election Day, union activists gathered at offices set up in Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, for one last push to get out the vote.

Activists spread the union message on Election Day. Their campaign started in the summer as they visited hundreds of members at their homes in the evening and at workplaces, where they organized lunchtime meetings at agencies all over the city.

Political Action Committee Chair and Local 1359 President Dennis Ifill greets activist Sallie Robertson on Election Day at the union’s Jamaica Avenue headquarters.