#LaborStrong2021: Union Support Key in Adams, Progressive Sweep in NYC Elections

Mayor-elect Eric Adams at a rally in City Hall Park in lower Manhattan on Nov. 1. Photo: Mike Lee


A new morning dawned long before midnight, as the votes were counted throughout New York City. Shortly after 9 p.m., it was clear history was made.

New York City voters, weary of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and beset with the issues of economic disparity, racial and ethnic inequities, voted overwhelmingly for pro-union candidates citywide.

Eric Adams, retired NYPD police captain, former New York State Legislator, and Brooklyn Borough President, was overwhelmingly elected as the City’s 110th Mayor with 66% of the vote, defeating radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Silwa. In his victory speech, Adams spoke of taking the embattled City in a new direction, moving the City’s agenda to focus on the forgotten and comprehensively addressing the economic stratification made clear during the pandemic.

Henry Garrido, DC 37 Executive Director, speaking in support of Mayor-elect Eric Adams at a Nov. 1 rally in lower Manhattan. Photo: Mike Lee

“So brothers and sisters, and the people of our City–they have spoken. And tonight, New York has chosen one their own,” said Mayor-elect Adams. “I am you.”

“This is your victory, and I will carry your cause to City Hall,” Adams said. “Tonight, we are going to make the turn and take our city in a new direction.”

That direction includes a fair and equitable economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, school reform, ambitious social programs, and a focus on the needs of the essential frontline workers, many of them DC 37 members–who gave all in their service to the City during this recent crisis.

Democrats also easily won in other New York City races. Jumaane Williams won re-election as NYC Public Advocate. Brad Lander won his quest to become the City’s next Comptroller. In the City’s five boroughs, Vanessa Gibson, Donovan Richards, and Mark Levine were elected Borough presidents in the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan.

For the New York City Council, DC 37 played a crucial role in reshaping the future agenda for the city. As part of the #LaborStrong2021 coalition, joined by 32BJ SEIU, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 1, the Hotel Trades Council (HTC), and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the union endorsed the most progressive set of candidates put forth in New York City.

Across the board, DC 37 and the union coalition’s support made a vital contribution to massive victories by their endorsed candidates in both the heavily contested June 22 primary and on Nov. 2.

With a few districts still outstanding, DC 37 and #LaborStrong2021 candidates were elected, making the incoming NY City Council the most inclusive, diverse legislative body in its history. Next year, the City Council will be represented by the most women in its history, and many of them women of color.

At a Nov. 1 rally at City Hall Park in support of Adams, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed why the union worked so hard to ensure that Adams was the only choice to lead the City out of this ongoing crisis.

“This election is a referendum on the kind of city government that we want to see,” said Garrido. “And the kind of leader we want to see in City Hall. We don’t have to have a conversation with Eric about the needs of City workers—because he’s been there.”

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