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Service Employees Union Endorses Corey Johnson For Quinn's Council Seat

By Mathew Katz | March 11, 2013 12:59pm | Updated on March 11, 2013 4:42pm

NEW YORK CITY — The city's largest union for service workers has endorsed Corey Johnson, adding its considerable power to his bid for the seat Christine Quinn will leave vacant in the City Council.

Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ announced its support for Johnson on Monday.

Johnson, who chairs Community Board 4, is running against Community Board 2 member Alexander Meadows and lawyer Yetta Kurland in the September Democratic primary to represent Council District 3, which includes Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and the West Village.

The eventual winner is all but assured to win the general election in the heavily Democratic district.

Monday's announcement came along with 32BJ's endorsements for other offices around the city.

“All of these candidates have demonstrated a deep commitment to the working people of our city,” said Hector Figueroa, president of 32BJ, in a statement.

“Now more than ever New York City needs real champions of working families who will stand up to special interests who would deny workers good jobs that will bring them solidly into the middle class.”

32BJ has more than 70,000 members in the city and is particularly active in Council District 3, with supporters often making appearances at local community board meetings. Most recently, the union has clashed with Chelsea's General Theological Seminary, which the union said improperly laid off longtime workers. 

"32BJ has consistently been one of the leading progressive voices on behalf of workers and their families," Johnson wrote in an email to supporters.

"I look forward to working with these men and women on the council and continuing the fight for fair wages and good jobs."

Reached on Monday, Kurland touted her own union endorsements, including recent ones from the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Union Local 46 and the New York Area Postal Union. 

"In regards to 32BJ, I am sure I will continue to work closely with them on important social justice issues like bringing the paid sick leave bill to the floor for a vote and working on the money out of politics initiative they have taken part in," Kurland said.

Meadows declined to comment.