Building Trades

32BJ Tours City to Mobilize Latino Vote

August 22, 2013
By Marc Bussanich

Hector Figueroa holds a press conference before beginning bus tour

Hector Figueroa holds a press conference before beginning bus tour.

New York, NY—Less than three weeks remain before the Primary Election to determine which candidate will be nominated by their respective political parties to be the next mayor of New York. 32BJ, which endorsed Council Speaker Christine Quinn in June, kicked off a bus tour to travel to different neighborhoods in the city to mobilize the Latino vote, which could catapult one of the leading candidates to City Hall. Watch Video

The Quinnipiac University Poll of August 14 shows Public Advocate Bill de Blasio capturing 30 percent of the vote among registered Democrats versus Ms. Quinn’s 24 percent. But Hector Figueroa, 32BJ’s President, said in an interview that recent polls indicate a large percentage of voters, particularly Latino voters, are undecided.

“According to every poll, [Latino voters] remain largely undecided; we want to take the message to the street that they need to come out and vote in large numbers and we want to make the case that the best candidate for mayor is the speaker, Christine Quinn, who has a track record with the Latino community,” said Figueroa. 

He believes that the Latino vote will be decisive in a potential run-off primary and the general election on November 5. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York-Marist poll released last week, Ms. Quinn enjoys 27 percent of the vote among registered Democrats who are Hispanic compared to Mr. de Blasio’s 11 percent. 

Figueroa noted that the union’s field operations, combined with the field operations of the other private sector unions that have also endorsed Ms. Quinn, including the New York Hotel Trades Council, the New York State Laborers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union, will reach enough Latino voters who might just push Ms. Quinn over the top. 

“I feel confident that Christine Quinn, with the support of the largest component of private sector labor in the city and a very robust field effort, will be the winner,” Figueroa said. 

Follow Marc Bussanich on Twitter marc@laborpress.org

August 21, 2013

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