Following an arduous four-month-long vetting process that included five town halls witnessed by more than 12,000 UFT members, delegates at a special Delegate Assembly on April 19 voted to endorse Scott Stringer in the June 22 Democratic Primary for New York City mayor.
The resolution to endorse Stringer, the current city comptroller, was carried with 90% of the vote at the Delegate Assembly, the union’s highest decision-making body.
“As a school system and as a city, we are going to be facing unprecedented challenges,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said during a press conference following the DA vote. “We have to have someone with a proven record of getting things done. That person is Scott Stringer.”
Stringer has been a “friend of the union for more than 20 years,” Mulgrew pointed out, from his time as assemblyman, through his tenure as Manhattan borough president and in his current post as city comptroller, which he assumed in 2014.
“I want to thank all New York City teachers for this important endorsement,” Stringer said. “The issues you’ve championed are the issues that the next mayor must be aligned with.”
Stringer is facing a crowded field of candidates, but he has successfully navigated tough campaigns in the past. He was the underdog against former City Council member Eva Moskowitz, now the head of Success Academy Charter Schools, in the 2006 race for Manhattan borough president, and he was a longshot in his 2013 run for city comptroller against Eliot Spitzer. Both times, he came from behind to win.
“When I get endorsed by the UFT, I win,” said Stringer, the parent of two New York City public school students. “Teachers vote, teachers work and teachers know what’s at stake.”
Mulgrew thanked the UFT members who participated in the process. “This work to vet the candidates wasn’t easy,” he said. “This union owes a debt of gratitude to all of those who took part.”
Karen Davis, a special education teacher at McKee HS on Staten Island who was among the volunteers, said the members “did our homework” and “our members chose Scott. He’s a friend of the union and I’m a proud union member.”
Gregory Monte, a special education teacher at Franklin D. Roosevelt HS in Brooklyn, called the vetting process “very empowering.”
“We started a mission to select the right candidates,” Monte said. “It was a very transparent process. Ultimately, we went with a candidate who is not only battle-tested one who has stood with us through every battle we have faced. Scott Stringer is the right candidate to support public schools and the children who go there.”
In speaking in favor of the resolution to endorse Stringer at the Delegate Assembly, Brooklyn Technical HS Delegate Katie Moylan said that while “it wasn’t possible to select a candidate who will please every UFT member, but we worked diligently to try to find a candidate who will serve every one of us.”
Watch the press conference
UFT President Michael Mulgrew introduced the UFT's endorsed candidate in the mayoral primary, Scott Stringer, at a press conference on April 19.