Major health care workers union backs Maya Wiley for NYC mayor

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New York’s largest union representing health care workers endorsed Maya Wiley for mayor.

The announcement of support Friday from 1199 of the Service Employees International Union provides a boost to Wiley’s campaign, which earlier this week suffered a setback when she failed to qualify for public matching funds.

The union represents staffers in hospitals and nursing homes throughout the city.

The SEIU 1199 was one of the unions that backed Bill de Blasio’s victorious first bid for mayor before the 2013 Democratic primary.

Wiley previously served as de Blasio’s top legal counsel.

Patrick Gaspard, a former political director of SEIU 1199 and a pal of de Blasio, is an unpaid adviser to Wiley’s campaign and maintains deep ties to the union.

Wiley crafted the infamous “agents of the city” memo that declared correspondence from five of de Blasio’s closest outside confidantes — including Gaspard — exempt from public disclosure laws because they advised him on running the city.

The courts ruled the correspondence was not privileged information and ordered the mayor’s office to release it to The Post and other media.

Members of the 1199 SEIU union hold a silent vigil outside the Parker Jewish Institute at New Hyde Park, NY on May 28, 2020.
Members of the 1199 SEIU union hold a silent vigil outside the Parker Jewish Institute at New Hyde Park, NY on May 28, 2020.
Dennis A. Clark

The web of ties notwithstanding, the endorsement is a coup for Wiley. SEIU 1199 is one of the best-organized unions and is known for mobilizing volunteers and turning out votes for its preferred candidates.

It’s time to elect a woman to run City Hall, 1199 president George Gresham said.

“Maya Wiley has the experience and vision needed to move us forward, and to reimagine what our city can be when working people have access to the tools and support needed to live with dignity,” Gresham said.

“Maya’s priorities are our priorities – from investing in and fairly compensating our caregivers to rebuilding our economy through job creation and training,” he said.

“We believe that Maya is uniquely positioned to join the ranks of Shirley Chisholm, Stacey Abrams, and so many other women who have continued to serve as the backbone of our communities, and of political fights nationwide.

“We are proud to support Maya and we look forward to doing all we can to make our collective vision for NYC a reality.”

Wiley was thrilled to get the coveted backing of the union, whose thousands of members staff the medical wards during the pandemic.

“We know who cared for us during our darkest days; the same people who kept us safe, fed, clean and cared for even during our bright ones. Now, it’s our turn to care for the caregivers,” Wiley said.

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