August 16, 2012

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UUPers debate, vote on endorsements


UUP Stony Brook HSC Chapter President Carol Gizzi (left), Stony Brook Chapter President Arty Shertzer and Farmingdale Chapter VP for Academics Bob Reganse cast their votes during NYSUT’s 2012 President’s Conference on Endorsements.

The leaders were among the more than two dozen UUP members who joined nearly 300 of their union brothers and sisters from NYSUT at the Aug. 14 conference in Albany. They debated and voted on which state legislative candidates to endorse in November’s election.

NYSUT Executive VP Andy Pallotta cited UUP’s fight to save services and jobs at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn as a prime example of the need for political activism.

“It is a crisis situation,” Pallotta said, referring to Downstate. “We know when one of us is hurt, we’re all hurt.”

John Costello, NYSUT assistant to the executive VP, stressed the importance of political endorsements in a pivotal election year in order to elect candidates who support legislation amenable to unions.

“If we give our members the information they need, we believe they’ll make the right choice,” he said.

The UUPers participated in regional meetings regarding which candidates to endorse or whether to decline issuing any endorsements in specific races.

The endorsement recommendations are not finalized until they’re approved by NYSUT’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

The unionists met separately in May to make endorsements in Congressional races.

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