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PEP Dec 2006
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Public Employee Press

Political Action 2006

DC 37 helps Democrats sweep ‘06 elections


DC 37’s head Lillian Roberts (c.) flanked by volunteers from Lifeguard Supervisors Local 508 and L.1549.


FROM HARLEM to Albany: Senator-elect Bill Perkins with DC 37 PAC Chair Lenny Allen, Roberts and retirees.

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS

When all the votes were counted and the races decided, it was clear that on Nov. 7, Election Day ’06, more than any other in recent history, Americans staged a grassroots take back of control of this nation and the direction in which it is heading.

In New York, DC 37’s full slate of endorsed candidates won election, with the top five statewide political posts going to Democrats.

DC 37’s Green Machine of volunteers played a key role in getting out the vote. The union’s green team was part of a larger labor coalition that put union members on the streets, at subways, bus stops, and shopping malls and on the phone, educating voters about the issues.

In landslide victories, Eliot Spitzer became the first Democrat elected governor in a dozen years, and his running mate, David Paterson, was the hands down choice for lieutenant governor. Despite his misstep of using public funds for a driver for his wife, voters re-elected Alan Hevesi state Comptroller and they also elected Andrew Cuomo state Attorney General, both by considerable margins.

Republicans barely maintained control of their stronghold, with all but three of DC 37-endorsed candidates winning state Senate and Assembly and U.S. Congressional seats.

The union also led a campaign to re-elect U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, which helped Democrats gain control of the Senate 51 to 49. Hundreds of DC 37 volunteers worked the streets of Brooklyn to send Yvette Clarke to Washington to replace Major Owens, who retired, and fill a seat that was once held by Congress member Shirley Chisholm, who was elected in 1968.


For 50 years, DC 37 retiree Sarah Francis,
in Co-op City, has volunteered
"for justice and equality".

Across the nation Democrats experienced large gains. The party also won control of the House of Representatives, as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will become the first woman speaker. Rep. Charles Rangel will chair the Ways and Means Committee, which controls a broad portfolio that includes taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare and welfare.

The Democratic sweep of elections across the country by and large reflected the nation’s dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration and its failed leadership, the war in Iraq, Washington sex scandals and ever fluctuating inflated gasoline prices, experts said.

Days after the election George W. Bush’s approval rating dropped to 31 percent, the lowest ever. The day’s events proved democracy is alive and well in America once again.

 

 

 
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