August 15, 2013
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – The Executive Board of 32BJ SEIU voted unanimously to rescind the union’s endorsement of Assembly Member Micah Kellner for a City Council seat. It was the first time the union, which has 75,000 members in New York City, has ever rescinded an endorsement.
“Given the allegations against Kellner, we cannot in good conscience continue to support his candidacy, and call on him to withdraw from the race," said Kyle Bragg, secretary-treasurer of 32BJ SEIU. “We are deeply disappointed, and do this with a measure of sadness, but it is the right thing to do.”
After rescinding the endorsement, the union’s Executive Board voted unanimously to support Ben Kallos, a lawyer and noted Democratic activist, for the Council seat from the 5th District, which includes Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. That seat is held by Jessica Lappin, who 32BJ has endorsed for Manhattan Borough President.
“Ben Kallos is a hard-working progressive who has always fought for the rights of working men and women,” Bragg said. “As a lawyer, he fought to get retirement and health benefits for working families, and has been an advocate on issues that are important to the working men and women of New York City, like education, affordable housing, and tax reform.”