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Influential hotel workers union to back de Blasio's presidential bid

The union’s former political director and current consultant, Neal Kwatra, helped the mayor win City Council approval for his housing plan in 2016 and HTC donated $25,000 to the effort. HTC has mobilized its members in support of some of de Blasio’s most important policy victories, including universal pre-K and his affordable housing plan.

The most important alliance between de Blasio and the union, from HTC’s vantage point, has been an ongoing battle between the city and Airbnb. The home-sharing empire has lobbied lawmakers and residents to expand into the lucrative New York City market, but much of its operation remains illegal by state law. That’s been compounded by a crackdown by inspectors who work for the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement and a bill the mayor signed into law last year.

“Bill de Blasio’s record of progressive policy victories is a double threat to those who have declared war on working families – he gets us and he gets things done,” HTC president Peter Ward said in a statement provided to POLITICO. “Our union has had a front row seat to see how Bill has made New York a safer and more equitable place for working families.”

“I am proud to have worked closely with President Peter Ward and HTC members to raise wages and create good jobs in the hotel industry and beyond,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I’m honored to have their support as we continue to work hand in hand to put working people first in this country."


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