NEW YORK — As New York City continues to reopen, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday a ticker-tape parade has been scheduled for front-line heroes and essential workers.
A Hometown Heroes Parade has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 7 as front-line heroes who led the fight against COVID-19 process through the Canyon of Heroes.
“It’s something you want to be a part of,” the mayor said.
The City Hall announcement said that the following groups of front-line workers will be on floats in a parade through the Canyon of Heroes, the half-mile stretch of Broadway, between Battery Park and City Hall:
- Advocacy organizations
- City workers
- Emergency food providers
- Faith leaders
- First responders
- Healthcare workers
- Hospitality and buildings workers
- Retail and bodega workers
- Social service and settlement house workers
- Transportation workers
- Utilities workers
“We’re always going to remember the pain and the tragedy of COVID. No one is ever going to forget the ones we lost and what families are still going through, but we need a day to celebrate the heroism of everyday New Yorkers,” the mayor said, “A parade you will remember for the rest of your life.”
Not all of the front-line workers who’ll be honored are pleased with the situation, however.
Anthony Almojera is an EMS lieutenant and vice president of Local 3621, the Uniformed EMS Officers Union. He said that he wasn’t pleased when he learned about the parade.
“I’m shaking my head in disgust,” he said, about when he first heard the news. “[De Blasio] wants to have all of the benefits of celebrating health care workers without actually doing any of the work of making sure we have safe working environments and are compensated fairly.”
He said that his union is currently trying to negotiate a new contract with the city, which pays EMS workers about 25-to-30% less than firefighters. EMS workers responded to 6,500 emergency calls daily for weeks at the height of the pandemic. That’s about the same number of calls responded to on 9/11.
Mayor de Blasio previously said the first large-scale parade the city would host upon reopening would be for essential and front-line workers.
De Blasio had anticipated for the city to fully reopen by July 1, so he believed having a celebration after that would be “exactly the right time for it.”
Correction: Mr. Almojera’s union affiliation has been updated.