Breaking with much of the New York City labor world, the powerful 25,000-member New York City District Council of Carpenters is set to throw its backing to the congressional candidacies of Brooklyn Councilman Erik Martin Dilan and Queens Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
According to a press release provided to City & State, the carpenters considered backing two of Crowley’s rivals in the NY-06 race in Queens, Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Assemblywoman Grace Meng, but decided to go with Crowley because she is a member of the building trades. (Crowley has worked in the past as a restorative painter.)
“It was a hard decision to make in the District 6 race because both Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Assemblyman Rory Lancman are qualified candidates,” said District Council executive secretary-treasurer Michael Bilello in a statement. “But the deciding factor came own to Crowley being a Building Trade’s member.”
Crowley has racked up most of the building trades support in the race, while Lancman and Meng have also won the backing of a number of large unions.
Meanwhile, the union’s backing of Dilan represents his biggest labor coup to date, with most unions so far siding with incumbent Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. But the carpenters have a reputation as politically potent, and Dilan has developed a close relationship with the union serving as chairman of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings committee, teaming with the union on workplace safety issues. His father, State Sen. Martin Dilan, is also a key player on housing policy in Albany.
There are more than 1,020 members of the carpenters union living NY-06 and more than 520 in Velazquez’s district, according to the union.
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