Press Release: DA Candidate Florence Racks Up 2 More Union Endorsements for 15 Total
New York, NY— Today, DC 9 IUPAT Painters & Allied Trades + IUEC Local One Elevator Constructors endorsed Diana Florence for Manhattan DA, joining the steady drumbeat of labor support for her campaign. Florence is the only candidate with union support in the crowded field.
Florence has previously published opinion pieces in The New York Daily News, El Diario, and City Limits about using the criminal law to protect essential workers, and prosecuting wage theft as larceny. She also proposed a first-of-its-kind Labor Crimes Bureau to directly address crimes of power including sexual harassment, wage theft, workplace safety, and tax and unemployment fraud.
“Local One Elevator Constructors are proud to endorse Diana Florence for Manhattan District Attorney, as she has a track record of standing up for working New Yorkers,” said IUEC Local One President and Business Manager Lenny Legotte. “As head of the Construction Fraud Taskforce, Diana won the country’s largest wage theft case giving construction trades workers back a collective $6 million. The organized elevator industry needs a champion in the District Attorney’s Office who understands that trade unions and the hardworking men and women they represent are the backbone of this city. Our union believes that, if elected, Diana will put everyday New Yorkers ahead of the corporate elite.”
The unions collectively represent 14,000 members. IUPAT DC 9 paints our bridges and buildings. IUEC Local Elevator Constructors install, service, repair, and modernize our city’s network of elevators, escalators, and other conveyances.
“District Council 9 is proud to endorse Diana Florence for Manhattan District Attorney. As head of the Construction Fraud Task Force, she worked to build trust with workers, unions, elected officials and the community. Her vision is to put people before power and we’re sure she will continue to fight for us and on behalf of all working New Yorkers,” said Joseph Azzopardi, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer at District Council 9 IUPAT Painters & Allied Trades.
“This people-powered campaign is thrilled to have the support of elevator constructors and operating engineers and painters alongside the thousands of working New Yorkers already behind us,” said Diana Florence, candidate for Manhattan DA. “Our coalition of painters, elevator constructors, engineers, bus drivers, sanitation workers, laborers, ironworkers, delivery workers, and carpenters is about prioritizing people over profits. I have a proven record of going after employers who steal wages, corporations who kill their workers, and investigating complex real estate fraud. Everyday New Yorkers know that I am not afraid to hold the rich and powerful accountable.”
Florence launched her campaign in August with six unions: the New York State Ironworkers, Bricklayers Local 1, Terrazzo Workers Local 7, Heat & Frost Insulators Local 12, Ironworkers Local 361, Northeast District Council of Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ Local 262 and 780. She’s picked up eight more, including the Teamsters Joint Council 16, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, New York City, Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, Laborers Local 79, and LiUNA! NY.
Diana Florence began her career as a prosecutor 25 years ago in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, focusing on domestic violence cases, then complex frauds and corruption in the Special Prosecutions Bureau and Labor Racketeering Unit, and later becoming the head of the first of its kind Construction Fraud Task Force. She won landmark convictions against companies and individuals for defrauding 9/11 charities, corruption, domestic violence, wage theft, and deadly work conditions. She has taught trial advocacy for over two decades to lawyers in the DA’s Office and has lectured investigators and lawyers from around the world on topics ranging from inter-agency cooperation to prosecuting fraud, racketeering and workplace homicide.
As an ADA, Diana held powerful interests accountable by prosecuting developers and corrupt corporations for cheating workers and taxpayers. In an historic case against Harco Construction, she ultimately secured justice for the family of a 22 year-old construction worker, Carlos Moncayo, who was buried alive at work. Using the existing criminal law, Diana charged the corporations and site supervisors, who had been repeatedly warned of hazardous conditions, with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for Moncayo’s death. As a result, she drafted legislation (A10728) named after Carlos Moncayo, known as “Carlos’ Law” that would establish higher fines for corporations for endangering workers’ lives.
Diana has made prosecuting wage theft a centerpiece of her career, notably working alongside IronWorkers Local 361 to secure $6 million in stolen wages and back-pay from AGL Industries. Diana subsequently wrote a bill (A06795) with Assemblymember Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) to reclassify wage theft as the more serious crime of larceny. Other jurisdictions— like the Pittsburgh City Council and Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner— subsequently created similar prosecution models for wage theft.
Diana has worked side-by-side with community based groups, unions, workers centers, and government agencies to create an innovative prosecution model heavily rooted in broad based participation. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker.
Diana Florence wants to make a new PACT (Power, Accountability, Community and Trust) with New York that puts people first. PACT prioritizes prosecuting “crimes of power”, being accountable and transparent about the decisions of the DA, and working side-by-side with community stakeholders.
As an ADA, Diana created an innovative model of collaborative prosecution known as co-enforcement. Co-enforcement is based on knowledge instead of assumptions. It relies on collaboration with community partners to determine what justice looks like which then drives the priorities of investigation and prosecution. It starts with working alongside advocates, labor unions, tenants, worker centers, elected officials, industry groups, community leaders — the very people who are affected by crimes of power to ascertain the needs and values of the community. Using co-enforcement, the Construction Fraud Task Force Diana led built a trusting relationship with the community it served and together achieved success.
Born in Manhattan, Diana is a long-time resident of Kips Bay where she lives with her husband and two children. Diana graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a BA in Art History with a concentration in Spanish as well as her law degree.