Assemblyman Rory Lancman grabbed the first major union endorsement in the race to replace Gary Ackerman in Congress, scoring the backing of the increasingly vocal Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“Rory Lancman has been one of the most aggressive and effective advocates for working people in New York,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of RWDSU. “Our endorsement of his candidacy sends a clear message: Rory is the candidate of working people in this Congressional race.”
The RWDSU boasts of a 40,000 strong membership, but its real strength has been in its increasing advocacy of social justice matters over the last couple of years, most recently in its concerted push for a living wage bill in New York City.
RWDSU has also led the effort to keep Walmart out of New York City, and Mr. Lancman was one of the most vocal advocates of keeping the big box retailer out of the five boroughs.
“I’ve dedicated my career in public life to fighting for the things that matter to working New Yorkers, and it’s a great honor to have the backing of RWDSU and organized labor in this race,” Mr. Lancman said. “Together, we can take back Congress from those who have been tilting the economic playing field away from middle-class and working people for years.”
If Mr. Lancman is to prevail in his Congressional campaign, he will have to rely on the support of labor groups like the RWDSU. His opponent, Grace Meng, received the support of the Queens County Democratic Party earlier this week, and Mr. Lancman will have to count on labor coming out for him in a big way to counteract the county party’s organizational strength.
It sounds like they are ready.
“Time and again, Rory has stood up for the rights and interests of our members in tough contract negotiations and in the ongoing battle against Walmart’s efforts to enter New York City,” Mr. Appelbaum added. “We need more people in Congress like Rory Lancman – elected officials who will promote a progressive agenda and do what is necessary to improve the lives of working people and rebuild the middle class.”
Queens City Council member Liz Crowley is also in the race.