Maya Wiley

TWO THUMBS UP: The New York State Nurses Association has endorsed progressive candidate Maya Wiley for Mayor and named Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as its second choice. The nurses union praised Ms. Wiley’s advocacy to transform the health-care system and Mr. Adams's lifelong career as a civil servant.

The New York State Nurses Association announced June 3 that it has endorsed Maya Wiley as its first choice for Mayor while ranking Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams second.

The union, which represents 42,000 nurses across the state, including more than 8,000 nurses who work in the NYC Health + Hospitals system, has advocated for years to eliminate health disparities in low-income and immigrant communities and ensure safe-staffing.

Strong on Health Care

Ms. Wiley—who previously served as Counsel to Mayor de Blasio and as chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board–was praised for her “progressive vision.”

“[She] has a platform consistent with our values, including unbridled support for public-health facilities and safety-net hospitals, and ultimately transforming the health care system into one that provides quality health care for all, with appropriate numbers of caregivers,” said NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez. “Such changes would end the atrocious health-care disparities we see today, made painfully obvious at the height of the COVID pandemic.” 

“To be endorsed by the brave, essential workers of the New York State Nurses Association means so much to me,” Ms. Wiley said. “It’s clear the health-care heroes of our city are ready for transformation, they are ready for justice, and they are more than ready for better wages and protections so they can truly live with dignity in our city. It’s time for our nurses to be supported the way they have supported us for so long, and that’s exactly what I will do as Mayor.”

Both Ms. Wiley and Mr. Adams have been “outspoken advocates” on issues related to housing, education, jobs, gun violence, environmental justice—all of which impact health, Ms. Sheridan-Gonzalez noted.

Adams 'Steadfast'

The union also stated that Mr. Adams has “demonstrated a steadfast commitment to his community” as a veteran public servant. He worked as an NYPD officer for 22 years, retiring as a Captain before serving in the State Senate and being elected in 2013 to his current post.

Mr. Adams noted that “we can never forget what nurses did for New York during the pandemic.”

“I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with nurses during the height of COVID-19 to ensure they and the patients they served had the resources necessary to fight the virus, and I am proud today to accept their endorsement for Mayor,” he stated.

Although the June 22 primary will be the first mayoral race to feature ranked-choice voting, many unions have opted to endorse just one candidate.

The endorsement could potentially help Ms. Wiley gain momentum—a recent Emerson College poll showed her in fifth place, while a poll by Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics had her in fourth.

'1199' Her Biggest Backer

NYSNA was the second major union to endorse Ms. Wiley, who has also received support from Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents health-care workers. She has also been backed by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, and Nydia Velázquez and State Sen. Michael Gianaris and was co-endorsed by the Working Families Party, along with Dianne Morales.

Mr. Adams has received support from several other major labor organizations, including District Council 37, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Transport Workers Union Local 100, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and the New York State Court Officers Association.

The two candidates have clashed in recent weeks over the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk. Ms. Wiley criticized Mr. Adams for defending the use of the controversial tactic, which many communities of color argued were disproportionately used on innocent black and Latino boys and men. In 2013, a Federal Judge ruled that the NYPD routinely used stop-and-frisk unconstitutionally.

Mr. Adams has stated that stop-and-frisk was “abused” in the past, but argued that the proper use of the tactic played a key role in policing.

"I was the leading voice against the abusive use of stop-and-frisk,” he said. “If someone is hiding in an alleyway, 4 o'clock in the morning, and the Police Officers stop him, question him on what he's doing there, that is a legal stop."

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