“When I became President of the Rochester Firefighters Local 1071, I took the position that we will support those who support us, not just by campaign rhetoric but by a proven record. In Mayor Lovely Warren, we have a leader who has demonstrated her continued support for the Rochester Fire Department and the community we are sworn to protect.”
-Eddie Santiago, President, Rochester Firefighters Local 1071
Throughout the history of our country, unions have played a critical role in shaping the middle class as we know it. This labor day, it is important to take time to reflect on the enormous positive impact organized labor has had not only on the country as a whole, but also at a local level here in Rochester. I know firsthand the power of a strong union — my husband is a member of the Teamsters, several of my relatives are members of the local UAW, and my grandfather and mother-in-law and longtime members of the ATU.
When my grandparents moved to Rochester from the Jim Crow South in the 1960’s, the only work my grandmother could find was scrubbing toilets at Strong Memorial Hospital for substandard wages. But then during the Civil Rights Era, the unions came along, and fought for safer working conditions and liveable wages. As a result, her children were able to get an education, and her great-grandson just graduated medical school at the very hospital where she once toiled.
That, among many other reasons, is why I am proud to accept the endorsement of the Rochester Firefighters Local 1071. Our Firefighters and other first-responders are among the bravest and most dedicated members of our community. It is an honor that they have chosen me as the person they wish to continue to lead our city into the next generation. I am also proud of the fact that I have the support of 1199SEIU and the United Professional Barbers and Cosmetologists Association — organizations that represent working people that live, work, and vote here in Rochester.
As the Mayor of Rochester, I will stand up for, and stand up with, all of our unions. I consider supporting labor to be a moral obligation that transcends politics, so I want to make it clear — even though some of our labor organizations may not support me during this election, I will never stop supporting them. The dangerous policies coming out of the Trump White House are threatening the middle class — we need our labor organizations now more than ever as partners to preserve the progress generations of workers have fought so hard to obtain.