January 15, 2009

Awards recognize supporters of Mullany House

Source: New York Teacher
Caption: From left, NYSUT's Maria Neira, Troy TA's Celine Casey and Mark Walsh with Penny Hill, regional director of the New York State Workforce Development Institute posing as Kate Mullany, and Paul Cole, executive director of the American Labor Studies Center. Photo by Joe Putrock.

The house of labor continues to grow in New York through education and a building restoration.

Efforts to restore the Kate Mullany House at 350 Eighth St. in Troy are progressing, and period windows will be installed this spring.

When finished, the building in Rensselaer County will house the American Labor Studies Center, which has applied for several different restoration grants.

The center, chaired by NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue, hosted a late fall reception to raise money for the project and to honor lawmakers for their extraordinary support.

Receiving the first Kate Mullany Medals were U.S. Rep. Mike McNulty (D-Green Island) and outgoing U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

McNulty, who retired from Congress this month, worked to pass legislation that made the Mullany House a national historic landmark in 1998. He and Clinton secured legislation to make it a National Historic Site in 2004.

Joseph Bruno, who retired last year from the state Senate, was recognized for securing more than $350,000 in state funding used for capital improvements and for the purchase of property adjacent to the Mullany House that will be a park honoring trade union women pioneers.

The labor center has received a grant from the National Park Service to create a curriculum on Kate Mullany, the young Irish immigrant who led the first women's union in the nation and the first woman to hold office in a national union.

How labor is treated in American history textbooks will be studied under a grant from the Albert Shanker Institute.

— Betsy Sandberg

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