Press Release: Powerful Teamsters JC16 Endorse Diana Florence for Manhattan DA, Join 8 Unions
A champion of workers’ rights, Florence prosecuted landmark cases for 25 years
NEW YORK, NY (09/10/2020) (readMedia)– Today, the powerful Teamsters Joint Council 16 voted unanimously to endorse Diana Florence for Manhattan District Attorney, joining 8 other unions and the drumbeat of momentum for her campaign. Teamsters Joint Council 16 and its 27 local unions represent an incredibly diverse workforce, as embodied by the executive board: George Miranda (Local 210) General Warehouse, Airline Maintenance, Pharmaceutical, Demos Demopoulos (Local 553) Primary: Heating Oil, School Bus, Milk & Bread Delivery, Harry Nespoli (Local 831) Primary: NYC Public Sector Sanitation Tommy Gesualdi (Local 282) Primary: Construction Material Delivery, Greg Floyd (Local 237), Primary: Public Sector-School Safety Agents, NYCHA Maintenance and Security Employees Lou Calemine (Local 295) Primary: Air Freight, Matthew Bruccoleri (Local 272) Primary: Parking Garage employees.
“The Teamsters are proud to endorse Diana Florence because she has always put working people first and held powerful interests accountable. She shares our values of racial justice, gender justice, and economic justice. Our 120,000 members, women and men who make deliveries, pick up the trash, maintain public housing, bus kids to school, and make our city run, are ready to put boots on the ground to get Diana elected,” said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16.
Read more about the Teamsters JC16 here.
“For too long wealthy and powerful interests have protected their own, reserving justice for people with the ‘right’ skin color from the ‘right’ neighborhoods. That’s what happens when the wrong people inherit power rather than earning it. No more. I’ve spent my career fighting for working people, and I’m deeply honored to have their support now. I will always put people first,” said Diana Florence.
In New York, the Teamsters have been a force for racial justice. The union declared itself a “sanctuary union” in 2017 to protect its members from deportations and aggressive immigration enforcement. Last year, Joint Council 16 organized alongside environmentalists, community organizers, and low-wage workers of color to reform the private sanitation industry through the landmark Commercial Waste Zones law. Since the death of George Floyd, Teamsters Joint Council 16 has spoken out in support of Black Lives Matter and organized actions at its members workplaces as part of the Strike for Black Lives in July.
In the 5 weeks since announcing her candidacy Diana has already racked up endorsements from 9 unions total. In addition to the Teamsters they include: the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, the New York City District Council of Carpenters 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. All together they represent approximately 300,000 workers.
More About Diana Florence
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.
Diana is running on a platform of PACT: Power, Accountability, Community, and Transparency. PACT prioritizes prosecuting “Crimes of Power”, being accountable and transparent about the decisions made, and working side-by-side with the community (read more below). She has previously published opinion pieces in CNN, The New York Daily News, El Diario, AM New York, and City Limits, lending her legal expertise to current issues. She has made real estate and housing fraud a cornerstone of her campaign, vowing to root out corruption in the industry, as well as prioritizing workers rights.
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 helped draft 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.
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.
Visit www.DianaforDA.com for more information.