LABOR EXPANDS POLITICAL FOOTPRINT: The AFL-CIO's New York City Central Labor Council announced endorsements in 20 City Council races, including the Feb. 23 special election for District 31 left vacant after Donovan Richards was elected Queens Borough President and two March 23 special elections in the Bronx. The labor organization represents 300 unions and more than 1 million voters. At center, CLC President Vincent Alvarez.

The AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council, an umbrella group for more than 300 public- and private-sector unions, announced Feb. 16 endorsements in 20 City Council races, two Borough President contests, and for Public Advocate.

The organization has 1.3 million members working in a large range of industries from education to construction, including more than one million registered voter households across the city.

Bronx Choices

In The Bronx, the CLC has endorsed Amanda Farias, Pierina Sanchez, and Althea Stevens, as well as incumbents Diana Ayala, Rafael Salamanca and Kevin Riley, who in December won the special election to replace disgraced former Council Member Andy King.

The group also made endorsements in two special elections set for March 23. In the District 11 race, the organization is backing Eric Dinowitz, a special-education Teacher whose father is Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. The seat has been vacant since Council Member Andy Cohen left to become a Bronx Supreme Court Justice.

In the special election for District 15 to succeed Ritchie Torres, who last November was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the CLC has endorsed Ischia Bravo, the District Manager for Bronx Community Board 7.

In Manhattan, endorsements went to Jenny Low, Erik Bottcher, Shaun Abreu and Julie Menin, former city Consumer Affairs Commissioner and NYC Census Director.

It also endorsed Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who is leaving that post because she is term-limited, Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, and incumbents Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers.

Backing 9 in Brooklyn

In Brooklyn, the CLC supported Lincoln Restler, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Henry Butler, Alexa Aviles, Crystal Hudson and Briget Hudson. It also backed incumbents Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Justin Brannan and Farah Louis.

In the race for Staten Island’s District 49, it endorsed Amoy Barnes, the Staten Island Director of the Department of Education’s Transition and College Access Center.

In Queens, endorsements went to Austin Shafran, Sandra Ung, Tiffany Cabán, Shekar Krishnan and Lynn Schulman. Incumbents supported by the group included Francisco Moya, Adrienne Adams and Robert Holden.

In the Feb. 23 special election for District 31, left vacant after former Council Member Donovan Richards was elected Queens Borough President, the CLC endorsed Selvena Brooks-Powers.

The CLC also announced “no endorsement” decisions for six races, including contests in District 13 and District 26.

In Line With LaborStrong

The list of City Council candidates supported by the CLC largely resembled the endorsements made by the  #LaborStrong2021 coalition, which was made up of District Council 37, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, Communications Workers of America District 1, the Hotel Trades Council and the New York State Nurses Association. The coalition announced endorsements of 31 City Council candidates last month.

The CLC also supported Council Member Mark Levine for Manhattan Borough President, Mr. Richards, the incumbent Queens Borough President and incumbent Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

“We look forward to turning out our members, including more than a million voting households, to elect endorsed candidates who will work with us to address both the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, revive hard-hit industries, protect jobs and critical city services, grow our economy, and fight every day for New York City’s working families,” the organization said in a statement.

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