By MIKE LEE
As Primary Day elections loom, the union recently hosted a live telephone town hall with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido.
More than 14,000 union households dialed in to hear the Governor speak, and ask questions.
In his introduction, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido lauded Cuomo’s stalwart efforts on behalf of the union in the wake of the Janus decision and for his efforts on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last September.
Referring to recent state legislation signed by Cuomo, he said: “The governor set an example for the nation by protecting our fundamental rights to collectively bargain and organize.”
Cuomo noted the state’s progress since he was first elected in 2010.
“Nobody has done what we have done here. We are the first state in the nation to pass a $15 minimum wage. Free college tuition for all poor working families and middle class and the best paid family leave program in the United States—and importantly—down to 5 percent uninsured in New York state. We’ve done so much to be proud of,” he said.
Cuomo then focused his ire at President Donald J. Trump.
“I’m in a fight with the president,” said the Governor. “I’m going to sue him personally because he’s not a king, he’s a president and when you are a president, you are still subject to the United States Constitution, and the actions he’s taking are unconstitutional. The Constitution says equal protection under the law, so if there’s a hurricane in Puerto Rico and there’s a hurricane in Florida and a hurricane in Texas, everybody gets the same help. That’s not what happened. Puerto Rico got less.”
“Also, the constitution says taxation shall be uniform and not punitive. His tax reform bill, puts a 30 percent surcharge on New York and 11 other states, who all happen to be states he lost in the last election. He used the tax code as political retaliation, so I am taking him to court,” said Cuomo.
After Cuomo was done, Garrido reminded the audience of the importance of this Thursday’s primary:
“This is no time to screw around. We have everything at stake. We need a governor for the state that has proven leadership to protect New Yorkers. We are looking to call on our strength and to show up in full force at the polls on Thursday.”