One thing I missed at the big 1199 SEIU rally at Madison Square Garden last week was an unannounced visit from David Paterson. In light of the spending cuts he just announced–which include $505 million to Medicaid–the speech he gave takes on new significance.
According to a transcript another reporter generously shared with me, he told the audience that he was with them, even if the public isn’t. And, he went on, “Every time we have a financial crisis, particularly 30 years ago when New York City almost went bankrupt, it was the unions that pitched [in].”
Paterson went on to say, “We are gonna fight together, we are gonna work together to make sure that we address this fiscal crisis, that we do it without hurting the least in our society, and that we bring New York State back to the great state that it’s always been. Those of you who are home care workers, we are not gonna forget you, either, in this struggle.”
UPDATE: So much for that. 1199 SEIU and the Greater New York Hospital Association vehemently oppose Paterson’s budget cuts.