News & Politics

1199 Gets Mad, Backs Freddy


The way SEIU Local 1199 leader Dennis Rivera tells it, there’s no quid pro quo attached to today’s endorsement of Fernando Ferrer. “The reality is we do not have any kind of specific agreement with Mr. Ferrer,” Rivera told reporters. “We have an agreement to try and find a solution” to the problem of home health care workers who make too little.

As for the Post story that 1199 refused to back Mike Bloomberg because the mayor allegedly shot down Rivera’s plan to put 25,000 union members on the city payroll, Rivera said the administration “has done a fantastic job in trying to dampen the enthusiasm about this endorsement” and added later, “We believe that we don’t get made, we get even. We’re going to work hard, hard, hard to elect Freddy Ferrer.”

And the event was not without its biblical reference: Ferrer returned to his new theme of being David to Bloomberg’s Goliath. “All the smart money was on Goliath,” he said, David being “a guy about my size … All he had were smooth stones, and the rest is history.” Then he bellowed, “1199—all 200,000 of you—you are my smooth stones!

Outside, some of the smooth stones played it cool. Will Ferrer win? “Freddy’s gonna be all right,” one said cryptically. Pretty smooth.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2005


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