MORE sends its deepest condolences to our friend and fellow defender of public education, Noah Gotbaum and his family, over the death of his father, Victor.
Victor Gotbaum was among the most prominent union leaders during the glory days of public employee unionism. A great organizer and defender of worker’s interests, Victor Gotbaum led District Council 37, the umbrella organization for most unionized city employees, from 1965, when DC 37 had 35,000 members, until 1987, when it had well over 100,000.
Victor Gotbaum was a lifelong New Yorker, a WWII veteran, a precociously early opponent of the Vietnam War, and a fighter for the rights of working people. During the fiscal crisis of 1975 and after, also known as “The Banker’s Coup,” his immediate reflex was to fight the austerity being imposed on working New Yorkers, and DC 37 members demonstrated the power of working people, coming close to shutting the city down in opposition to the budget cutbacks that took almost a generation to recover from.
Victor Gotbaum understood and devoted his life to expanding the power of workers, and we will use this moment to reflect upon how we will carry on that tradition, as he did, with intelligence, passion and commitment.
Again, our deepest condolences to Noah and his family for their loss.
September 5, 1921 – April 5, 2015