In the race to replace term limited Councilman Eric Ulrich in south Queens, community leader and attorney Mike Scala picked up an endorsement from the United Federation of Teachers.
According to the union, Scala has demonstrated that he would be the best representative for his district and local schools.
“Michael Scala has been a steadfast advocate for his community, serving as a fighter for resources and after-school programs,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. “As we continue to recover and rebuild from COVID-19. Our schools will need advocates like Michael to ensure New York comes back strong.”
Scala said earning the support of New York City teachers and their union is pivotal for him in the race to replace Ulrich, as the UFT is one of the largest and most powerful unions in the city representing nearly 200,000 members, including approximately 75,000 teachers and 19,000 classroom paraprofessionals. The UFT membership includes school secretaries, counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, speech therapists and family care providers.
“As a proud product of Queens public schools, I am honored to be recognized as the candidate best suited to represent teachers and parents in our district,” Scala said.
One of Scala’s priorities is expanding access to after-school programs to provide safe and productive environments for local children following their classes. Scala has called it shameful that teachers are forced to buy supplies for their classrooms and that the program to reimburse them was cut.
As an attorney, Scala has experience in the public and private sector. He has worked as a legislative director and counsel for the state Senate on the state budget and has specialized in civil litigation in the private sector.
“The New York State Constitution guarantees everyone the right to a sound basic education,” Scala said. “It doesn’t say you can get a sound basic education so long as your teachers can afford school supplies. Hopefully 10 years from now we’ll look back on this and say, ‘I can’t believe teachers were ever put in this position.’”
Scala has additionally advocated for a municipal broadband initiative to improve Internet service at reduced costs so that no family is unable to participate in remote learning.
Scala is running to represent the 32nd City Council District which includes Rockaway Beach, Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven.