Around the UFT

Unions pledge aid to stricken 9/11 first responders

State AFL-CIO fundraising event

State AFL-CIO fundraising event 1Miller photographyMulgrew greets guests as Hughes, the evening's emcee, looks on. The more than 3,000 who died following the Sept. 11 attacks weren’t the only victims. There were thousands more, chiefly first responders, construction crews and residents who were stricken with illnesses from inhaled toxic particulates. It took a fight by concerned citizens, including the city’s labor unions, to win congressional approval for the Zagroda 9/11 Health & Compensation Act of 2010 to aid those injured in the rescue attempt on Sept. 11, 2001 and the toxic cleanup afterward. On Sept. 7, the state AFL-CIO held a fundraising event at UFT headquarters for 9/11 Health Watch, Inc, the union coalition formed to ensure that first responders and survivors were properly cared for and to begin building support for the federal bill’s extension when it expires in 2016. State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes told those in attendance that the gathering, which raised some $250,000 for the ongoing effort, was meant both to celebrate those first responders as well as to “create a mechanism to lobby and agitate so that everyone affected is taken care of long after we are gone.” Other speakers at the event included Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a prime bill sponsor, and union leaders including UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Singer-songwriter Carole King, before entertaining the crowd, said her father had been a career New York City firefighter and was herself a proud member of four entertainment unions. “When I meet a teacher, this is what I do,” King said as she bowed graciously.

State AFL-CIO fundraising eventMiller photographyCongresswoman Maloney talks about ways to extend the Zagroda bill to more of those debilitated.

State AFL-CIO fundraising event 3Miller photographyKing introduces a song, one of five that she performed.

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