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Thursday, November 6, 2008
Democrats to Control State Senate - What We Must Do
A face you can trust? State Senator Tom Duane (D).
The election is over. Next year the Democrats will control the State Senate. According to the frequent pronouncements from State Senator Tom Duane (who at tenant meetings would repeatedly raise his index finger--1--to state what was needed for Dem control of the Senate and salvation), this will mean that pro-tenant legislation will get passed and that we will have a tenant friendly Senate representing us. Stuy Town Reporter will try to stay positive for now, and take Duane and other Democrats at their word. But in order for them to be reminded of their promises, it's good to call or e-mail them every once in a while, beginning with now.
This is what we have been promised:
1) The repeal the Urstadt Law (which would place rent decisions back in the hands of the city, rather than the state)
2) A reversal of vacancy decontrol laws
3) The abolishment of MCIs that result in perpetual rent increases
In a Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village tenants' meeting on October 19, this was part of the exchange between tenants and Duane and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh:
Speaker #1: Senator Duane, how quickly will we see a repeal of the Urstadt Act?
Senator Duane: If Democrats succeed in winning the State Senate, it should happen in the first term.
Speaker #2: The law regarding MCIs (Major Capital Improvements) is flawed. There is a reverse incentive for doing things economically, because the more you spend on a project the more you can charge back to tenants. You could let a property run down completely and get an MCI to improve it and benefit from it. Also, regarding the rent exceeding $2,000 with a household income of $175,000; there have been contradictions. Please explain.
Duane: Up until now it has been slow going working with the DHCR [the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, which handles MCIs] but the Democratic Minority has been working with Senate Majority members on trying to reform the regulations on MCIs. Let me say that with Democrats in the majority, we would have more influence with the Governor’s agencies because the Majority would be controlling their budgets.
Assemblyman Kavanagh: The household income has to be $175,000 for two consecutive years. With a strong Democratic Majority in the Senate, we expect to be able to change that. The cut off rent would be increased and the household income would be raised to around $325,000. There would also be a very strong bill to change MCIs from permanent to temporary.
These are the contact e-mails:
Getting pro-tenant legislation passed is imperative. Otherwise, the middle-class will be completely driven out of the city (certainly Manhattan), neighborhoods will disappear, and all we will be left with are sliver condos dotted on the ground floors with Starbucks, banks, and mega drug stores. Don't let this happen to our city!
Next year it will be imperative to also get rid of Mayor Bloomberg. Not only did the Mayor spit with complete disregard on democracy (along with 29 city council members), but he is pals with real estate developers, including Jerry and Rob Speyer, who are running Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village (into the ground). In fact, the New York real estate website, THE REAL DEAL, reported that Jerry Speyer is a "frequent advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg." No wonder Bloomberg took a drop-dead Stuy Town/Peter Cooper hands-off approach to the sale of this complex. As long as Bloomberg is in office, we will continue to be screwed as middle-class tenants. Get this lying and manipulative Boston-born and bred bum out of office!