Just a few words about the tenant meeting at Simon Baruch this past Saturday.
It was overflowing. Seats taken, with packed standing crowds in the back. The biggest turnout of tenants I have seen, with a few bloggers and NY journalists taking note. Of the speakers, the biggest applause was given Dan Garodnick, and rightfully so. The guy presents himself well, speaks clearly and with purpose, and has represented this neighborhood well. The one troubling spot in his speech: Garodnick stated that everyone knew that Tishman Speyer was paying too much for ST/PCV at 5.4 billion, but, a few sentences later, he dangled the hope that tenants could buy the complex. Well, if the tenants had bought the complex at their bidding price of 4 billion, we would have been screwed too.
Tom Duane--well, the crowd became hushed as he went through his mea-culpas ("I'm deeply, deeply, deeply sorry," etc.) and used a slew of disparaging terms about the State Senate. He admitted that this year was the worst of his political life. (Duane had also lost his mother during the summer.) Though Duane tried to finish up on an energizing note, mentioning that he's not quitting the fight, I didn't get a sense of verve and determination from him.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was also present, but her speech was too predictable regarding Stuy Town/Peter Cooper tenants, and then she launched into an unfortunate rah-rah list of things the Democrats are doing in Congress that would have been better suited for a campaign stop, not a tenant meeting.
Anyway, a very good get-together of tenants (both rent-stabilized and market-rate), with a positive vibe of better and greater organizing in the future.
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