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Sunday, November 15, 2009
Okay Unity Day
Considering the lousy weather and the confusion over where the Unity Day event would be finally be held (at Stuyvesant Cove, if good weather--or Simon Baruch JHS 104, if rain), the turnout Saturday was pretty respectable. The NY Daily News estimated about 500, which I think is a fairly accurate estimate. Dan Garodnick was clearly the best speaker--focused and with a good voice that traveled even to the back of gathering, while State Senator Tom Duane, late in coming, was lousy--full of quick cliches and reviving the idea that tenants should have bought/should get a chance to buy Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. (Note: If the tenants had bought the property a couple of years ago for 4 billion, we possibly would have been in real trouble by now and the laughing stock of real estate bigshots. I'm uncomfortable with the concept of tenants buying this property for a huge sum of money, unless it can be shown to be risk-free enterprise, probably an impossibility.) Anyway, at least we were spared Duane's refrain from past years--"One more, one more!"--with his index finger pointing in the air. The Democrats got their "one more" in the State Senate this year and completely fucked it up.
Basically, the fight now will be to keep and even strengthen rent-stabilization laws that are due to expire in June, 2011. THIS IS THE BIG ONE, in fact. Landlords will pour all their money and influence, as will politicians paid by or friendly with the real estate lobby, to either get rid of or weaken these tenants protections.
For the purpose of protecting ourselves and fighting the good fight (which is historic), everyone should join the Tenants Association and help them out as much as possible--through money and/or man-womanpower.
One more thing: It was kinda bracing to hear Garodnick and a couple of other speakers make statements that the ruling in the J-51 case means that all market rate apartments in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village are now considered rent stabilized. I'm not too certain how secure in reality that statement is, but it's certainly one that, if factual, puts a smile on one's face and sunshine in one's heart.