By HENRY GARRIDO
Honoring the past is important.
Building a future is essential.
Perhaps nothing has exemplified the grit and determination of our union quite like our headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in lower Manhattan, which has been our prime location for generations.
DC 37 headquarters has been the place where contracts have been negotiated… where elected officials have come to explain themselves… where our rich cultural diversity has been celebrated. It is where members’ rights have been affirmed — and where members’ problems have been solved. This is where DC 37’s past and present come together with a promise and commitment for a better future.
During our decades at 125 Barclay St., we’ve had to leave the building twice for prolonged periods of time — the first time after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001; and, more recently, after the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy.
Those events, and time itself, have taken their toll on our home. For more than a year, we have considered whether to stay and refurbish or to carry on at a new location.
After careful consideration and deliberation, the leadership of DC 37 has chosen to build the future at 125 Barclay St.
We arrived at this decision for a number of reasons. First and foremost — access for members. Our lower Manhattan address is easy to get to by public transportation from most parts of the city. Union headquarters is also close to many of the city agencies where our members are employed, and also to City Hall, the place where many decisions that impact members’ lives are made.
In order to fulfill this vision of bringing members closer to the union, the building is about to undergo an extreme makeover. For the next three years, our Barclay Street headquarters will be renovated so that space may be re-allocated, services expanded, and new technology installed. When the renovations are complete, we will have a revamped, modern facility designed to enhance member services.
Until work is complete, our staff is moving to 55 Water St. on July 1. In the meantime, phone information for DC 37 remains the same. Please check with the DC 37 website at http://www.dc37.net for the latest information and updates.
For the immediate future, we will continue to hold meetings on the 1st floor at 125 Barclay St. until such time as construction makes this is no longer feasible.
When I became Executive Director of DC 37 in 2015, I made a commitment to the members and leaders of this great union to uphold and preserve our mission and our values.
So much of our mission is about member services. And as we move further into the 21st century, so much of our challenge is upgrading those services to the high level our members expect and deserve.
Among our goals:
- Improving and centralizing services for members = their families.
- Constructing a modern, state-of-the-art Member Resource Center to facilitate inquiries.
- Upgrading and expanding our Chambers Street dental facility.
- Modernizing our infrastructure and physical plant.
- Expanding meeting space to enable greater member participation to meet our goals and priorities in building power and protecting hard-won benefits.
Of course, technology and infrastructure are no substitute for one-on-one contact. Our union is a big family and in this process we shall endeavor to keep you updated on our progress in this exciting time in DC 37’s history.