DC 37, the city’s largest public-employee union, endorsed Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor this afternoon at its Barclay Street headquarters.
Executive Director Lillian Roberts called Thompson “an ally in our struggle to protect our members and a champion of the millions of the hard working New Yorkers that we serve.” Roberts announced that the DC 37 executive board had voted “overwhelmingly” to endorse Thompson over the three other mayoral candidates they interviewed. Roberts spoke about Thompson’s commitment to public schools in light of DC 37’s disagreements with Mayor Bloomberg over mayoral control of schools.
Roberts acknowledged that Thompson’s opponent “may be better financed at the moment, but he has a weapon that is worth money in the bank.”
Thompson took the podium to chants of ‘yes we can’ and ‘si se puede’ and thanked DC 37’s members, who he called the “backbone” of New York City: “I can’t tell you how pleased I am, and how strong I feel with your support.” When later asked if he would release the questionnaire he filled out prior to the meeting with the board, Thompson replied that he would not, elaborating that, “the meeting was really very little about the questionnaire and more about the future of New York City.”
When a reporter asked about Bloomberg’s comment earlier today that he would “not make irresponsible promises to endorse an election,” the union’s associate director Oliver Gray said, “Nobody asked anyone to make promises.” Roberts added, “The only promise we asked for is to use the money that’s available for the people of New York.”
DC 37 endorsed Bloomberg for mayor in 2005. When asked what changed this time around, Roberts answered, “He changed! When he decided that in the social service system to take $9 billion out of a $36 billion budget and give it to outside contractors, to undercut the civil service system, he changed.”