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Big Labor May Save New York from AOC’s Socialism

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Big Labor May Save New York from AOC’s Socialism

The Wall Street Journal February 19, 2021
EconomicsEmployment
Public SectorOther
Urban PolicyNYC

Even public-sector unions favor old-style incumbent Democrats to radical insurgents like her.

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her upset victory against Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in 2018, she had the backing of the Democratic Socialists of America. What she lacked was a single endorsement from New York’s powerful unions. Since then, candidates supported by the DSA have scored more wins against union-supported incumbents. As New York heads into an election cycle that will shape the politics of America’s largest city for the next four years, unions and the DSA are on a collision course.

New York’s unions are a heterodox group, ranging from public-sector outfits like the United Federation of Teachers and District Council 37, which cherish the rich compensation they’ve won for members over the years, to more conservative trade unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which benefit when the city’s economy grows. Despite their sometimes divergent interests, these unions have always found enough common cause to become a central force in the city’s Democratic coalition. But they were caught off guard by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s appeal, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods where recently arrived young progressives embraced her antiestablishment campaign.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the Wall Street Journal

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Steven Malanga is the George M. Yeager Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a senior editor at City Journal. This piece was adapted from City Journal.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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