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Unions to Spend Millions to Try to Influence NYC Council Election

A coalition of public and private sector unions plans to spend millions of dollars to try to influence the upcoming New York City council races and to elect a labor-friendly speaker. 

The five unions include District Council 37, which claims the title of the city’s largest public employee union. The other unions are Service Employees International Union 32BJ, Communications Workers of America, Hotel Trades Council, and New York State Nurses Association. 

The alliance was formed under the banner #LaborStrong2021, and it intends to endorse 26 candidates in the June 2021 primary elections for city council. Primary election turnout tends to be much lower than general election turnout, so the unions have a better chance of pushing forward labor-friendly candidates, especially since it plans to spend in the “seven-figure range.”

The unions will spend the money on text messaging, phone-banking, social media, and other voter outreach measures.  

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is Senior Writer and Researcher with Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Suzanne worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, as Policy Director with the Yankee Institute, as a contributor for The Hartford Courant, and as a regular commentator for WNPR’s The Wheelhouse.