Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
And as you digest, you can review the summary of our last meeting:
I. Appliance surcharge overcharge complaints
Our lawyer filed these Monday, November 30, 2009, along with the brief that he wrote.
- Thanks to the more than 100 tenants who provided the requested "additional information" for DHCR, and letters to our attorney.
- Thanks to Barbara Geller, Ana Soto, Gregory Murray, Luciane de Andrade, and Rosa Delgado, without whom we could not have completed this monumental task.
II. Elections: At our January 20, 2010 meeting we will elect two new Executive Committee members. One will replace the irreplaceable Prudence Opperman, who has been serving for several years, but is retiring for reasons of health. The other will fill the space left a few years back when the wonderful Zena Gonzalez resigned (also for health reasons).
Candidates so far are:
- Richard Jordan, a floor captain and board member
- Greg Murray, a floor captain and indispensable tenant helper for the overcharge complaint responses.
You will be able to read their short bios and see their photos on the mailroom bulletin board.
III. Pot Luck Party: We're moving it to the spring, and hope to have it outdoors in the backyard. If you are interested in participating, contact Sue.
IV. Albany & Politics
With Pedro Espada, one of the "Gang of Four" as head of the State Senate's Housing Committee, it is not clear what tenant bills can get passed. But tenants and our advocates are working hard to get these bills through in January:
- Stabilization for All (S 3326-A /A. 9230 (same as 4359-A) - Makes rent stabilized any building leaving Mitchell-Lama or Sect. 8 project. Sponsored by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and State Senate Andrea Stewart-Cousins, this would put into rent stabilization any building leaving or that has left Mitchell-Lama or a Section 8 project without regard to the year built, and without "unique or peculiar circumstances" increases. That would end our law suit!
- Repeal vacancy decontrol (A 2005 / S 2237 / S 5111 (Rules Committee) – Repeal Vacancy Decontrol ), also sponsored by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. The bill would bar landlords from taking vacant apartments out of rent stabilization even if they are renovated. And importantly for market rate tenants, this bill would put their apartments back into rent stabilization apartments at the rents as of January 1, 2007.
We will be meeting with Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell and with State Senator Bill Perkins in December
- to thank O'Donnell for passing a bill in the Assembly that would roll back any "Major Capital Improvement" increases once they are paid for. (Right now, those increases become a permanent part of rent stabilized rents)
- to thank O'Donnell and Perkins for signing onto the Stabilization for All (Stewart-Cousins) bill
- to urge them to persuade their leaders (John Sampson in the Senate and Sheldon Silver in the Assembly) to put our bills on the agenda.
If you would like to participate in these meetings, contact Sue.
Have a great holiday, and save the date for our next General Tenants Meeting on January 20th.
The Executive Committee