The city’s future corridors of power suddenly look very inviting to Vincent Alvarez.
The president of the Central Labor Council–an umbrella group for the city’s million-plus union members–is getting ready to grapple with a government that is expected to be far friendlier to organized labor than the recent years of frayed relations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And he hopes his work bolstering some of this year’s winning candidates will help to open the door.
Endorsing Bill de Blasio was a move fraught with risk in May.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the vaunted front-runner in the mayor’s race, according to the polls. It was widely assumed that former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would consolidate the minority vote.
But the influential healthcare workers’ union went with Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, who now stands as the all-but-assured Democratic nominee for mayor. Mr. de Blasio repaid their faith by making potential hospital closures a centerpiece of his campaign: in July, he was even arrested for protesting the closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, a move that gave him needed publicity.
In the one of the stranger election years of the last half century, Norman Seabrook’s labor endorsements still manage to stand out.
Take, for example, Comptroller John Liu.
The bombastic president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association is convinced Mr. Liu, mired in fifth place in the polls and bereft of millions in matching funds following a federal investigation that uncovered fund-raising fraud, will be a 21st century David Dinkins and surge to the top of the heap on Election Day.