Thursday, December 13, 2012

Summary of the Dec. 12, 2012 Meeting

We voted and we ate . . .   But first:

In memoriam: Marion Kufert.  We opened the meeting with a few words in memory of Marion Kufert, who died in November - cause of death unknown.  She was always curious, always concerned about justice, and a giving and generous person.  

Bedbugs:   If you think you have bedbugs, notify Lu Pedraza.  If the exterminator he sends finds them, follow the instructions promptly - even if you have to throw out your bed.  The critters multiply rapidly and delay means they could spread to furnishings beyond your bed and bedroom, and to others in the building.  Failure to get the place exterminated could become more serious.  You could find yourself in court and facing possible grounds for eviction. 

Helping market-rate tenants get back into rent stabilization:   Tenant unity and standing up for our legal rights has saved us money, gotten us back our community room, and more.  So help your neighbor:  Some market-rate tenants are considering trying to get their apartments back into rent stabilization.  To do that requires showing that the landlord's improvements in those apartments did not cost enough to justify taking the apartments out of rent stabilization.  That means the tenants have to compare "before" and "after" pictures.  Since those tenants weren't around to see their own apartments in the "before" stage, they need to compare them with apartments in the same lines that are still stabilized.   

Rent stabilized tenants have little to fear: the law requires that the landlord offer you a renewal lease at the rate determined by the Rent Guidelines Board.  If there's harassment or retaliation, the law bars that as well.    And if the market-rate tenants win, our tenant association gets stronger.   So if someone from the Executive Committee asks you whether you'll show your "before" apartment, please help out.  The more tenants do it, the stronger we all are. 

There was a rally on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2012, in front of Governor Cuomo's midtown office today, demanding that the state housing agency enact stronger tenant protection regulations.  Organized by a group called "Make the Road NY" with the support of Tenants & Neighbors, CASA (Bronx), the Real Rent Reform Campaign, and New York Communities for Change, it was fun. About 50 tenants, handing over to Cuomo's aide some 2000+ postcards, including 35 from our building. 

The tenant association election - Fortified with pineapple upside down cake, and apple crumb cake and chocolate-chip-nut cookies, and red velvet cake and spiced apples and fruit salad and rugelach (look it up) and more delicious delights to go with coffee, tea, soda and juice, tenants voted for the (unanimous) slate.  

In this uncontested election, of course, all candidates won a two-year term beginning January 1, 2013:

Executive Committee: 
President: Sue Susman
Vice presidents: Na'ava Ades, Joan Browne, Richard Jordan, Steve Koulish, Greg Murray
Joan will remain treasurer, assisted by Greg Murray - and board member Barbara Geller.

And we welcomed old and new board members (the new ones are in bold face) :

Board Members:
Maria Acevedo, Wassie AyalewSharon Davis, Rosa Delgado, Barbara Geller, Debbie Gonzalez, Tish Howard,  Marlene Melton, Helen Merber, Letty Orellano, Maxine Soares, and Ray Von Dohren

Thanks to Marlene Melton and Michael Gaye for producing ballots, bios of candidates, and running the election. 

And then it was back to the goodies!

Thanks to Joan Browne, Greg Murray, and Na'ava Ades for setting it up, and to all the tenants who brought yummies.   We are all a few pounds heavier and a lot happier. 

Finally,  Sue will be out of town from Dec. 23 through Jan. 4th.