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For Immediate Release: January 30, 2013 Contact:

Teamsters Joint Council 16 Endorses Austin Shafran for City Council Primary
First Labor Endorsement Goes to Proven Fighter for Middle Class Families Queens, NY- The Teamsters Joint Council 16, representing over 120,000 workers from 29 local unions, is proud to announce its endorsement of Austin Shafran, a true champion of working families, in the Democratic Primary for New York City Council District 19 in Northeast Queens. Teamsters Joint Council 16 is proud to be the first major labor endorsement announced in this closely-watched City Council race. Austin Shafran is focused on strengthening the middle class and fighting for Queens families. Born and raised in a union household right here in Northeast Queens, Austin knows first-hand the importance of the labor movement not only to workers and their children, but to the many close-knit communities across Council District 19. Austin has a long record of delivering results. Here in Queens and throughout New York, Austin has helped create good jobs, expand economic opportunities, and make government more responsive to the needs of working men and women. Austin's vision, work ethic and experience are truly needed in the New York City Council, and we look forward to supporting his campaign in the months ahead, said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16. "Working people need real leaders in the City Council. We need men and women of action in the City Council who will stand up for the hard working people who keep this city running and will fight back against the anti-middle class efforts to balance the city's budget on the backs of working people. Austin Shafran is the exactly the kind of leader that working families can depend on. I look forward to working with him in the council," stated Harry Nespoli, President, Teamsters Local 831. "Austin Shafran is a young, energetic candidate who would be good for people who work for a living," said Greg Floyd, President, Teamsters Local 237. Coming from a labor family, Im honored to have the support of the Teamsters who have worked so hard to improve the quality of life for working families. The labor movement has helped generations of families like mine enter and stay in the middle class, and I promise to continue their legacy as a strong voice for wage equality, worker dignity, and workplace safety, said Austin Shafran. With enormous challenges facing our city, we need new leadership to fight for the middle class values that make our neighborhoods a special place to live, work, and raise a family. From stronger schools to safer streets to an economy that creates good-paying jobs, I have the real experience to make city government work better for working families and businesses, Shafran said.

Shafran most recently served in Governor Cuomos Administration as Vice President of Public Affairs for the states economic development agency, where he played a significant role in executing the Governors aggressive job growth and small business development agenda. In this capacity, Shafran helped to foster the growth of tens of thousands of new jobs and local businesses, administer over $1 billion in small business assistance programs, and reduce the tax burden on middle-class families to its lowest rate in almost 60 years through fair share tax reform. Shafran has also worked for Congressman Gary Ackerman, the New York State Senate Democrats and City Councilman David Weprin. A former semi-professional baseball player, Shafran has volunteered to coach little league and mentor young players in local youth sports organizations in our community. Throughout his career in public service over the past decade, he has helped enact policies and legislation to improve the lives of seniors, children, women, and working families and businesses. For more information about the campaign and to get involved, please visit www.austin4council.com. ###