Diana Ayala and Carlina Rivera Earn 32BJ Endorsements in Manhattan and Bronx Council Primaries

Diana Ayala and Carlina Rivera Earn 32BJ Endorsements in Manhattan and Bronx Council Primaries

SEIU Local 32BJ announces endorsement of Democrats Diana Ayala and Carlina Rivera, staffers to prominent women council members and influential Latina community leaders in Manhattan and Bronx

Announcement comes as both candidates post strong fundraising results with Campaign Finance Board, build momentum off recent high-profile endorsements

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A new generation of City Council leaders is gaining steam with organized labor as Diana Ayala and Carlina Rivera, staffers to influential women city legislators, both earn the endorsement this week of the influential union SEIU Local 32BJ. This announcement comes as both Democratic candidates in the 2017 Council primaries continue to build momentum with recent high-profile endorsements from leading elected officials, and strong fundraising results following the May 15th filing deadline with the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB)..

“It is more important than ever to have City Councilmembers who will stand up for working people. Our city and our state must focus on protecting the most vulnerable among us,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “Carlina Rivera and Diana Ayala are well-suited to stand up to Trump’s extremism. They have decades of experience delivering for working people and standing up for immigrant rights, good public education, affordable housing, criminal justice and police reform. That is why our members decided to strongly support these progressive leaders.”

“I am grateful for the support of such a strong, diverse, and powerful group of working people,” said Democrat Carlina Rivera. “As a dedicated neighborhood activist for my entire career, I know the needs of my community and will be a tireless voice for organized labor and our City’s progressive values.”

“With the Washington extremists attacking our values and Albany special interests blocking progressive reform, I am prepared to be a loud champion for working families and seniors in the City Council,” said Democrat Diana Ayala. “In the City Council, I will use my decades of community and senior activism to deliver for the South Bronx and East Harlem.”

With more than 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 80,000 in New York City alone, 32BJ SEIU is one of the largest unions representing laborers in a wide range of service and maintenance fields. With its political endorsements, the union’s members are focused on “electing progressive city and state candidates,” according to its website.

The union’s support came as part of more than a dozen endorsements announced in City Council and state-level special election contests. This gives both Ayala and Rivera a major boost in momentum as they seek to replace their former bosses and mentors in the City Council. Ayala currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents 8th Council District, encompassing East Harlem and portions of the South Bronx. Ayala has received the Speaker’s endorsement to replace her after she is term-limited out of office in 2017.

Ayala most recently received the endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., giving her the support of the highest-profile official in Bronx politics. Ayala also has the endorsement of the Progressive Caucus Alliance, which she was given along with Rivera and Bronx Council candidate Marjorie Velazquez at a press conference in March.

Meanwhile, Rivera is running to replace term-limited Council Member Rosie Mendez in Manhattan’s 2nd District, which includes the East Village and the Lower East Side. Rivera is Mendez’s former Legislative Director, and a prominent local leader in the East Village, having served on the local Community Board and 3 worked with numerous local neighborhood organizations. Rivera has earned numerous endorsements, including from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. Council Member Rosie Mendez, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Brad Hoylman, Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou and Deborah Glick, former State Senator Tom Duane, and the Coalition for a District Alternative (CODA) Democratic Club.

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