A coalition of New York’s largest labor unions including the AFL-CIO are working with the Empire State Pride Agenda to sway state Senators into the light on marriage equality.
Community organizers from the powerful health care union 1199 SEIU and its sister union, building service union SEIU 32BJ, have worked for the past few weeks with the Empire State Pride Agenda, which has led lobbying efforts to promote the bill. The New York State United Teachers union and the New York City Central Labor Council have provided phone banks to assist the effort. The unions, as well as the AFL-CIO, municipal public employees union DC 37, Communication Workers of America Local 1 and 1180 and UNITE HERE have sent memorandums and letters of support to individual legislators. Michael Fishman, the building services union president, has used union resources to support the advocacy effort through lobbying calls and visits. He met with other labor leaders Thursday to discuss ways to galvanize support and step up the effort, said Matthew Nerzig, a union spokesman. In addition, labor leaders have advocated personally to their allies in the Legislature, asking for their support of the measure, which passed the Assembly easily.
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