Opinion

Labor leaders back Eric Adams to become NYC’s ‘blue-collar mayor’


The Hotel Trades Council, Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ and District Council 37 collectively represent more than 300,000 workers who are counting on the next generation of city leaders to have their backs during New York City’s pandemic recovery. At such a critical and defining moment in our city’s future, it is imperative that we elect a mayor who prioritizes the well-being of workers and black and brown people.

Eric Adams is that leader, and we’re determined to see him elected as New York City’s blue-collar mayor.

Eric has a longstanding history of fighting for working people and defending the rights of union members. He stood with fast-food workers on strike for better wages. He has been steadfast in the fight for responsible hotel development and good jobs for hotel workers. He was one of the first leaders to stand up for the city’s essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s common for candidates to say they support working people during an election. Eric, however, has a track record to stand on and tangible, achievable policy goals to show he means it.

Eric’s personal story is relatable to so many. He grew up with the odds stacked against him: poor, black and betrayed by the system. Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and raised in Jamaica, Queens, Eric was brought up by a single mom who cleaned homes to support her six children.

He grew up understanding firsthand housing and food insecurity. At 15, he was unjustly and severely beaten by the police. His lived experiences gave him a deep understanding of how our systems must be reformed.

Despite the odds, Eric used his smarts and determination to seize any opportunity he could find — lifting himself up and dedicating his life to public service. His story is one of struggle and hardship, but also one of hope and perseverance.

The memberships of our unions are made up of New Yorkers holding essential roles in our city, including hospitality workers, building cleaners, doormen and maintenance workers, clerical workers, security officers, window cleaners, building engineers, bartenders, cooks and more. Our members care for the sick, our children, parents and grandparents. They provide essential services during good times and bad. Their labor turns the gears of our city’s economy. We are truly the backbone of New York City.

These same New Yorkers have faced enormous difficulty throughout the pandemic — many lost loved ones and many are still struggling to preserve their livelihoods. Our unions collectively lost hundreds of members to the COVID-19 virus. We can’t afford to treat this election as just another contest. Our next mayor must share our moral imperative to fight for worker justice even in the face of the enormous financial power wielded by employers. 

On our members’ core issues, Eric is as solid as they come. He’s an unapologetic supporter of unions and collective bargaining. Eric also has the most authentic and effective proposals on other key issues like development, economic justice and police reform.

Eric knows that new development must come with tangible benefits for city residents, not just profits for real-estate developers and their lobbyists. He understands how to actually operate on these principles, not just how to talk about them. He knows the ins and outs of the city’s development process. He knows how to ensure accountability to New York City’s tenants and how to stand against destructive gentrification.

Eric has outlined aggressive objectives when it comes to promoting economic justice in our city. He supports shifting the tax burden toward the wealthiest New Yorkers. He’ll stand up against moneyed interests and pursue the construction of more affordable housing in wealthy neighborhoods. He has a bold plan to provide subsidized child care to New Yorkers who need it the most.

Eric is genuine, determined and committed to the issues that matter the most for everyday New Yorkers. He has a deep understanding of the struggles, needs and values of the communities he serves. His commitment to fighting alongside union members and on behalf of poor and working-class New Yorkers is clear.

For us and our 300,000-plus members, it’s clear: Eric Adams is our No. 1 choice.

Henry A. Garrido is the executive director of DC 37, Kyle Bragg is president of SEIU 32BJ, and Rich Maroko is president of the Hotel Trades Council.  


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