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Johnson and Weprin rank 1-2 among first responder unions’ picks for NYC comptroller

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, seen here recently receiving the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association in his bid to become the next New York City comptroller.
Photo courtesy of Todd Maisel

Two unions representing the city’s emergency medical technicians and paramedics endorsed City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Queens Assemblyman David Weprin as their top two picks in the race to become New York City’s next comptroller.

The FDNY EMS Local 2507 and the Uniformed Emergency Medical Services Officers Association Local 3621, which represent a combined 4,750 first responders across the five boroughs, want their members to rank Johnson first and Weprin second on their ranked choice ballots in the June 22 Democratic primary.

Both Johnson and Weprin are among 10 Democrats running to become the city’s next fiscal watchdog to succeed current Comptroller Scott Stringer, who’s running for mayor.

The union leaders say Johnson is their top choice because of his past support for EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors who put their own lives at risk saving New Yorkers every day, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As speaker of the City Council, Johnson held hearings on pay inequities between EMS workers and first responders, the unions noted. New EMS first responders with the FDNY earn about 40% less than their first responders in the NYPD at just $16.95 an hour, or $1.95 more than the $15 per hour minimum wage.”

“Corey Johnson is tenacious in working to improve the lives of fellow New Yorkers,” said FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay. “That is why FDNY EMS Local 2507 is asking our members to rank him number one on their ballots on primary day.”

“[Johnson] understands the need for New York City citizens to have experienced, pre-hospital health care,” added FDNY EMS Lieutenant Paramedic and Vice President of UEMSO Local 3621 Anthony Almojera. “We have faith he will fight for our rights as EMS workers and we know he will continue to fight for the citizens of New York City as our next comptroller.”

The speaker said he was grateful to receive their endorsements.

“We owe essential workers so much for their work getting us through this pandemic,” said Johnson. “To have the endorsement of EMS workers, who literally put their lives on the line to help their fellow New Yorkers, is a tremendous honor.”

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