Powell Endorsed by Local 46


Local 46Backed by a dozen members of the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46 and their leader, John Skinner, on a chilly Monday morning at City Hall, Adam Clayton Powell announced that the union had endorsed his candidacy to be the Representative of the 13th Congressional District.??
?We support Adam Clayton Powell for Congress,? Skinner read from prepared notes, ?because we know he will stand up against the crimes that have been perpetrated against workers in the residential and affordable housing construction industry such as the rampant wage theft and fraud that creates an unleveled playing field for the responsible contractors and developers.?
Skinner said his union has 1,700 active members and more than 9,000 retirees. ?Our membership is among the most diverse in the city,? he said and they specialize in steel reinforcing, lather, plastering, and post-tensioning work on bridges and building tops.
Powell welcomed the endorsement and then recounted his own experience as a construction worker.? ?I have a great deal of respect for these workers,? Powell began. ?I worked just a few blocks from here in the summer of 1985 in Battery Park City.? One of my duties was to pick up the two-by-fours from the floor beneath us out in the open near the edge of the brand new cement.? Now, I?m not afraid of heights, I?ve skydived, flown planes, so I?m not afraid of height.? But when you?re on the 12th floor on the edge and feeling the wind, hey, that?s when I said I had seen enough and then began driving a Yellow cab.?
That work experience propelled him to even greater heights as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County (1988-1989); a New York City Councilman (1991-1997); a disaster coordinator for FEMA (1998-2000); and a New York State Assemblyman (2000-2010).??
?These are the kind of workers I want to represent and fight for when I go to Congress,? Powell said of the Local 46 members.?
?Adam is an independent thinker,? Skinner said, ?who will stand up to the machines that have damaged the middle class in our city.? Not only will he stand up for the people who are being pushed out of the community due to the lack of affordable housing and women?s rights, but we believe he is the man of the people and will stand up and advocate for us.?
Those sentiments were shared by Aaron Chance, a veteran ironworker who at the moment is unemployed.? ?I?m out here in this bitterly cold weather for Adam and I?m sure he will be fighting for us, no matter what weather he faces,? Chance said.?
Powell is among ten candidates seeking to succeed Rep. Charles Rangel, who has held the post since his defeat of Powell?s father, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1971.