On the afternoon of August 20, 2014, members of Local 79 joined “Real Affordability for All,” a coalition of labor, faith, and social justice groups, to listen to speakers at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem demand affordable housing and good jobs in New York City, Afterwards, the groups made a spirited march down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to the State Office Building Plaza on 125th Street.

Speakers included First Corinthian Baptist Church Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr., The Black Institute’s Director Bertha Lewis, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and Local 79 member Rasul Heatley, a first-year apprentice. The message from all the speakers was loud and clear: Shoddy development of affordable housing, which has marked the City for the last 20 years, has reached its end. Affordable housing needs to be built, it needs to be built now, and it needs to be built with union labor.