Monday, January 26, 2015

5 Dems to co-head NYS Assembly as Silver temporarily steps down

Democrats to Replace Speaker Sheldon Silver, stepping down temporarily.  

NY Times:  "In an unusual arrangement, Mr. Silver, 70, would not permanently quit his post. Instead, he would temporarily delegate his duties as speaker to a group of senior Assembly members."

NY Daily News Excerpt:
A source with direct knowledge of the deal says the chamber will be run jointly by five veteran Assembly Democrats — Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Morelle and Farrell will head the chamber’s upcoming budget negotiations with Gov. Cuomo and the Senate, the source said.

Friday, January 23, 2015

McKee's articles: Impacts on Albany from Silver's indictment; 421-a, and more

NYS Speaker Sheldon Silver indicted for corruption - and how it could affect tenants

Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Sheldon Silver, NY Assembly Speaker, has been arrested by the federal government in part for "pressuring two real estate companies doing
business with the state to hire a law firm that was regularly paying him bribes, the 35-page complaint charged." (NY Daily News).  See the NY Times report, the Times' graphic explaining the charges, and the NY Observer article

As a practical matter, tenants depend on Silver and Cuomo as the two Democrats of the "three men in a room" who actually determine which laws get passed each term. (The third is the speaker of the State Senate, GOP Dean Skelos.) The indictment shakes up the balance in Albany and severely weakens Silver. Silver has said many good things on tenant issues and has ensured basic renewal of the rent laws, if not the serious improvements that tenants need like the repeal of vacancy deregulation and a cap on MCI rent increases.  The indictment, of course, alleges he's been collecting illegal money (evading even the very loose election law limits) from some big real estate companies for years.

McKee's articles 1/23/2015: Reform of RGB methodology, AirBnB, Silver indictment

Cuomo neglected to mention the rent laws

While Cuomo did discuss investing $486 million in building new affordable housing for "vulnerable" New Yorkers, he did not discuss renewing the expiring rent laws that keep housing affordable for thousands of city residents. Tenants and tenant advocates are highly concerned about losing affordable units to destabilization.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coming up - In case you missed the calendar (on the right).

Get involved and speak out on affordable housing issues: 

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 - Noon press conference on reforming what the Rent Guidelines Board may consider.  Steps of City Hall 

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 - 11 AM press conference on reforming the 421-a tax break for billionaire developers  Steps of City Hall 

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 - 10 AM Mitchell-Lama Residents Coalition and lobbying in the neighborhoodMusicians Union, 322 W. 48th St. (near 8th Ave.), ground floor Club Room, 

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 - Reviewing Renewal: Queens Museum housing lectures, starting at noon

Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 - Real Rent Reform Membership Meeting, 99 Ft. Washington Ave. in Washington Heights

And see the calendar at the right for more activities!

McKee's articles 1/21/2015

Council Member Corey Johnson introduces bill to revise the Rent Guidelines Board's criteria for adjusting rents.