NYSUT's efforts paid off again in local and state office elections this week, thanks to grassroots efforts and the power of VOTE-COPE.
"Thank you to everyone who volunteered for any of our candidates by phone banking and walking, and thank you to everyone who came out to vote and supported all of the candidates," said Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta.
"The tide is shifting," he said.
There were a number of special elections to fill vacancies in the state Legislature in this off-election year. NYSUT made endorsements in three Assembly races: Pamela Hunter (AD-128) Alicia Hyndman (AD-29), and Pamela Harris (AD-46) and all three won. Also, of note, Roxanne Persaud (SD-19) and Fred Akshar (SD-52) are new members in the Senate.
NYSUT locals were more involved in more than 50 local elections this year, more than ever before. Carmel TA, for example, endorsed Andy Falk for Town of Patterson supervisor. He lost by 18 votes, but the effort shown by NYSUT members and the Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Body in this region was phenomenal, Pallotta said.
NYSUT and allied organizations have started to build a Candidate Pipeline to create a farm team of local elected officials who share the union's values and/or are members. This will help position them to run for higher office down the road.
- All candidates endorsed by the FA of the Suffolk County Community College for Suffolk County Legislature won. As another reminder that every vote matters, FA-endorsed Sarah Anker won the 6th district by only one vote!
- In NYC, UFT and PSC endorsed Michael McMahon, a former Congressman and City Councilmember who won a tough DA race.
- In Dutchess County, Craig Brendli, a NYSUT member and a teacher at Poughkeepsie Middle School, won a seat on the County Legislature. NYSUT member activism at phone banks and on labor walks surely made a difference in this close race.
- Gregory Quinn, a UFT member endorsed by the Wappingers Congress of Teachers and HV-ALF, was elected supervisor of the town of Wappinger by a mere 26 votes. WCT and ALF members did three phone banks for him.
- In Western New York, Sheila Meegan, running for re-election for West Seneca supervisor won her race. Sheila Meegan was the endorsed candidate of the ALF and is a part of the Pipeline Project. She had lost her primary and was running with only the WFP line. With organizing by the West Seneca TA, the ALF and the WFP, the underdog Meegan won with 52 percent of the vote.