A MESSAGE ON THE 2021 ELECTIONS FROM LOCAL 79 BUSINESS MANAGER & PAC TREASURER MIKE PROHASKA
Brothers and Sisters,
I don’t have to tell you that the last year and a half have been an unprecedented time of uncertainty for the construction industry, and by extension Local 79. As we’re dealing with all these changes, we can’t forget that some things stay the same. Today I’m communicating with you regarding one of those, the upcoming NYC elections. As you know, the municipal elections—those for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents and Members of the City Council, are arguably the most important elections of all to our Local. Why is that? Because the elected officials in New York City control virtually every step in the construction and development processes. Under the endorsement page of mtdcpac.com you’ll find a list of candidates from all over the city that were vetted through both an interview and questionnaire process by LIUNA-NY over the last seven months. And rest assured, the LIUNA-NY team has more Local 79 representation than any other local, so our concerns were well addressed. In light of the pandemic, there are ways for you to do your civic duty while remaining safe.
- VOTE ABSENTEE! Once you’ve obtained your absentee ballot, you can fill it out in the comfort of your home and simply mail it back. Just remember, it must be postmarked by June 22. To receive an absentee ballot you can call the Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692) or go the website at https://vote.nyc/page/absentee-voting. If you don’t live in the five boroughs, you have to apply to your local county board of elections. You can find information on the homepage on how to reach your local board of elections for your application.
- VOTE EARLY! If you choose to vote in person, please take advantage of the new NYS laws regarding early voting. You should be receiving a notice from the Board of Elections telling you where your early voting site is located. It will be in your neighborhood, but it won’t necessarily be your regular polling place. Early voting is scheduled to begin on June 12, 10 days before Election Day (June 22). Undoubtedly, polling places will be less crowded during early voting because crowds won’t be as dense. Additionally, on Election Day itself, when most people will cast their in-person votes, social distancing rules will be in place, surely causing long lines and delays at the polls.
- OBEY SAFETY PROTOCOLS! If you do choose to go to the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, June 22 (Polls in New York will be open from 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM) please do so safely! While we don’t yet know what the protocols are for Election Day, we encourage our members to wear a face covering and obey the standard social-distancing rule of remaining at least 6 feet apart when standing in line and entering the poll site.
As Business Manager of your Local, my number one priority is making sure our brothers and sisters remain as safe and healthy as possible. This current crisis will undoubtedly, for the most part, pass. But our union, our members and their families, and our industry, must also survive so we can continue to provide for our loved ones with good, safe, well-paying union jobs. So, as your PAC’s Treasurer, I urge you to do your civic duty and vote in this year’s elections, but to do so in a safe and sane manner.
Thank you in advance, and remember: when Laborers vote, Laborers win!
Stay safe, my brothers and sisters!