You are reading

Queens DA Katz gains more union support in re-election bid as former NYPD commissioner backs her challenger

Feb. 21, 2023 By Bill Parry

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz added two more endorsements to her growing list of labor organizations backing her re-election campaign a day after former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton threw his support behind her challenger, retired Judge George Grasso.

Bratton led police agencies responsible for historic crime reduction in major cities across the nation — including the NYPD, twice, from 1994-1996 and 2014-2016.

Before joining the judiciary, Grasso spent more than three decades in the NYPD rising through the ranks from a beat cop in Queens to the executive level where he would become first deputy police commissioner. It was Bratton who promoted Grasso to Deputy Inspector in 1995.

“Judge Grasso is one of the sharpest legal minds I have had the opportunity to work with over my law enforcement career,” Bratton said. “He has highlighted the crime crisis in Queens and has the experience and knowledge to ensure the public safety that New Yorkers deserve. I saw, firsthand, the impact Judge Grasso had on New York City’s turnaround in the 1990s, as he played a key role in developing the NYPD’s first quality of life strategy, including the civil enforcement plan.”

Bratton promoted Grasso to Deputy Inspector in 1995 with his wife Regina and sons George and Joseph by his side. (Photo courtesy of Grasso’s campaign)

Bratton noted Grasso’s role on the bench during the pandemic while serving as the administrative judge of Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term.

”It was Judge Grasso’s plan that successfully organized and cut through the backlog of gun cases — a strategy implemented in every borough across the city that enhanced accountability for people charged with illegal gun possession. These are only some of the reasons I am confident that his election as Queens District Attorney will have a very substantial impact on public safety in Queens and throughout New York City.”

Grasso retired from the bench in August to run for Queens district attorney, despite having two more years on his term.

Retired Judge George Grasso received the endorsement of former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton in the race for Queens district attorney. (Photo courtesy of Grasso’s campaign)

“I worked with Commissioner Bratton,” Grasso said. “He knows what must be done in Queens and what must be done to take back our city from violent criminals and recidivists. Quality of life crimes undermine every community and make us all unsafe. As Queens district attorney, I will continue to call upon Commissioner Bratton for his advice to ensure we do what the people need to be safe — not what the hard left or career politicians want.”

Asked for a response, Katz campaign spokesman Tucker Green did not address the Bratton endorsement.

“DA Katz has earned the endorsement of hundreds of thousands of real New Yorkers because she’s actually done the hard work of taking down gangs, getting guns off the streets, and addressing human trafficking while making our criminal justice system strong and keeping families safe,” Green said.

Katz added endorsements from the Uniformed Firefighter Association and the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association on Tuesday.

“District Attorney Melinda Katz has done a fantastic job keeping the residents of Queens safe and making sure our members are protected at home and at work,” said Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “Our members are proud to endorse DA Katz for another four years in the district attorney’s office, and we look forward to helping her get back to doing what she does best – serving the residents of New York.”

Queens DA Melinda Katz picked up two more endorsements from labor organizations. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

The Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831, International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 6,500 active and more than 9,000 retired members of their union.

“DA Katz’s continuous efforts in support of labor throughout her career is greatly appreciated,” said Harry Nespoli, President of Local 831, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “In addition, her dedication to the needs of Queens is unparalleled.”

In recent weeks, Katz was endorsed by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), 32BJ SEIU, the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council, 1199SEIU, and many others.

“The Uniformed Firefighters Association and the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association members keep our city moving. They are dedicated to our residents and work every day to improve their quality of life,” Katz said. “I’m honored to earn their endorsement and excited to keep working with them to keep Queens residents safe.”

Recent News

New York Hall of Science awarded federal funding for project on artificial intelligence

New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) will play a key role in the future of artificial and natural intelligence after U.S. Rep. Grace Meng announced that the institution in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has been awarded nearly a half-million dollars in federal funding from the National Science Foundation over the next five years.

NYSCI will be part of a $20 million initiative led by Columbia University to establish an AI Institute for Artificial and Natural Intelligence (ARNI), an interdisciplinary center that will bring together several top research institutions to focus on a national priority: connecting the major progress made in AI systems to the revolution in understanding the brain.