Union coalition throws early backing to four New York City Council candidates for 2021

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New coalition with SEIU will seek to support candidates for the 2021 election. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The 2021 races for City Council remain more than a year away, but a coalition of union members gathered in Battery Park City on Sunday afternoon to announce their first slate of endorsements.

The Road to Justice NYC is comprised of union members from 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Make the Road Action, and Community Voices Heard Power. The coalition seeks to advance racial and economic justice through their early endorsements for the 2021 elections.

Leaders say that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated racial and economic injustice and inequality. They added that the new coalition is working to ensure that Black, Brown and immigrant communities are focused on the 2021 election cycle as an opportunity to create a “just and equitable New York City.”

Among those receiving support from the coalition were Tiffany Caban of Queens (who lost a election to Melinda Katz by a razor thin margin); Crystal Hudson of Brooklyn and Amanda Farias of the Bron and Jennifer Gutierrez of Brooklyn.

Two candidates include (l-r) Tiffany Caban, SEIU member Annis Stewart, Crystal Hudson. In front is Anna Stewart’s son Meheiah. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

In 2021, the entire City Council and many city and boroughwide seats are up for election. A majority of those seats will be open, including 35 out of 51 City Council seats, 4 out of 5 borough presidents, as well as the races for Manhattan District Attorney, Comptroller and Mayor.

“Working people in New York City need champions in City Hall,” said Gabby Seay, Political Director of 1199SEIU. “No longer will we accept politics as usual. We will work to elect leaders who are deeply rooted and accountable to their communities and to creating a livable, dignified, just and healthy New York. We’re thrilled to partner with Community Voices Heard Power and Make the Road Action to do just that.”

“In 2021, we have the opportunity to elect leaders who are accountable to  Black and brown communities and low-income communities across NYC,” said Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq., Executive Director of Community Voices Heard Power. “CVH Power has been at the forefront of building political power across the state for more than a decade. We are thrilled to join forces with 1199SEIU and Make the Road Action to pave the way to equitable political representation through Road to Justice NYC.”

“We’re excited about deepening the ranks of progressive Black, Brown, and immigrant leadership across this city,” said Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road Action. “Our members and Road to Justice NYC partners are committed to endorsing the candidates who will fight to divest from policing, invest in communities, build truly affordable housing, and ensure high-quality education for every New Yorker.”

Road to Justice NYC leaders say they will endorse candidates who stand with its members on key issues, including delivering on urgently-needed economic recovery for the communities hardest hit by COVID, divesting from policing and investing in communities, fighting for immigrant rights, and more.