The TWU Local 100 Executive Board voted overwhelmingly in April to give the union's endorsement for the open seat in the 13th Congressional District to State Sen. Adriano Espaillat. The District encompasses Upper Manhattan and a part of the Bronx.
The TWU Local 100 Executive Board voted overwhelmingly in April to give the union’s endorsement for the open seat in the 13th Congressional District to State Sen. Adriano Espaillat. The District encompasses Upper Manhattan and a part of the Bronx. The seat is currently held by long-time Rep. Charles Rangel who is retiring at the end of his current term.
Espaillat accepted the union’s endorsement at a press conference outside the Kingsbridge Bus Depot on Broadway and 215th Street. Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips told the assembled media that the union chose Espaillat over a number of other candidates vying for the seat because “he knows the our transit system and its value. And he knows us. He will be a strong and effective voice in Washington for the federal funds that are so necessary to improve and expand mass transit here.”
Phillips, who was joined by MABSTOA Vice President Richard Davis, Depot Chair Richard Fields and about a dozen Kingsbridge Bus Operators, praised Espaillat for being a dogged supporter of transit workers in the State Legislature. “Senator Espaillat has been at our side during every fight we’ve waged, and we’ve waged quite a few. He championed our cause when we demanded bus safety shields for bus operators and when we vigorously opposed bus operators getting arrested under Vision Zero.”
Phillips added that Espaillat “is currently sponsoring Tier 6 Legislation that will bring pension parity and fairness to bus operators who were hired in the last couple of years. Sen. Espaillat has been a great friend in Albany and will continue to be a great friend in Washington. He has stood with us many times and today we are proud to stand with him and give him our endorsement,” Phillips concluded.
Espallait said that he was “deeply, deeply grateful” for the union’s endorsement, but he said that he expected no less. “TWU has been a loyal supporter throughout my career.”
Espaillat decried the fact that fewer and fewer federal dollars are arriving from Washington to underwrite important transportation initiatives. “In Washington I am going to be a fighter for TWU Local 100 members. I am going to be a fighter to bring federal money to complete the 2nd Avenue subway and the other transit mega projects.” Espaillat said that he believes Local 100 could make the difference in what will be a hotly contested Democratic primary. He has fallen short in the last two primaries to wrest the seat from Rep. Rangel. But, Espaillat reminded reporters, Rep. Rangel is not running this time.
"It is an open seat.”