I. Daneek Miller is taking a longstanding career in the transportation union and applying it to create strategies and tactics he hopes to use if elected to the 27th District of the City Council.
“We have a lot of uphill battles,” he said. “When you see how working families have been treated over the last decade, it’s imperative that we have a voice at City Hall.”
“As we attempt to move forward as the working community of New York City, we continue to hit walls because we’re not setting policy and writing laws,” he said.
Miller, a community and labor activist, has lived in the district for 35 years. Last summer, he was approached by Councilmember Leroy Comrie about running for the City Council, and after some thought, Miller obliged.
He is currently the president of the Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU) Local 1056. In his position and previous ones, Miller progressively recognized the value in building coalitions and “championing causes outside of your own” to work towards a long-term, common goal.
“In holding office, you have to use sound judgment, inspire others, lead by example and engage people,” he said.
Miller also served as the political director of the union for five years where he worked on various pieces of legislation including workers’ rights, heath safety, pension reform and veterans’ rights.
“We’ve been successful [in the union] and hopefully that motto can translate to the community at large,” he said. “We understand budgeting, funding and the flow of government.”
As a city councilmember, Miller hopes to create a more efficient, reliable transportation system throughout the district.
This, in turn, could attract outer-borough people to come and work — a workforce that could be better maintained and ultimately boost the economy, he said. “You can’t forget about long-term objectives for short-term satisfaction,” he said.
He also hopes to implement participatory budgeting, living wages to sustain the community, youth advocacy, attract business residency, quality child care, affordable health care and more, all of which he said he has experience in handling.
“We have all the makings, we just have to do what I do best, which is build collaborations and coalitions that will attract the right resources into the district,” he said. “It’s about being the voice for people who don’t have a voice.”