Friday, July 10, 2009

Can you go to Albany this coming week?

Espada back in Democratic fold; State Senate functions again

Renegade State Senator Pedro Espada of the Bronx decided to rejoin the Democrats - giving them once again a 32-30 majority in the Senate. As part of the deal, he becomes Senate Majority Leader, while Malcolm Smith becomes Senate President and John Sampson is Democratic Conference chairman.

Hiram Monserrate (who had gone over to support the Republicans and then flipped back) is the new head of the Housing Committee - replacing Pedro Espada. Monserrate has been a strong tenant advocate, if otherwise erratic.

MARKET RATE TENANTS: The bill to Repeal Vacancy Decontrol will be voted on. It will put back into rent stabilization all apartments that have left stabilization through vacancy and the resulting increases. The rents would be rolled back to the January 1, 2007 rent.

RENT STABILIZED TENANTS: The Stewart-Cousins bill, S.3326, is expected to be voted on next week. (It has not yet passed either house of the legislature.) This bill would get rid of the "unique or peculiar circumstances" increase once and for all.

So tenants need a big presence in Albany.

There will be vans going up every day - with a big push for Wednesday, July 15th. If you can spare the day, please contact Maggie Russell-Ciardi of Tenants & Neighbors at Maggie@tandn.org .

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