BY Celeste Katz
There’s one week to go before New York’s rent laws expire and tenant advocates are stepping up their efforts – and narrowing their targets – to get stronger regulations adopted before the deadline.
Our Glenn Blain reports:
The Real Rent Reform (R3) Campaign on Thursday will launch a 60-second radio ad attacking targeting Senate Republicans, especially New York City senators Martin Golden and Andrew Lanza, for ignoring the best interests of tenants in favor of wealthy landlords. The ad will run on city radio stations.
“Rent protections for over two million tenants expire on Wednesday June 15, but Republican State Senators Martin Golden and Andrew Lanza are caving in to the landlord lobby instead of protecting the renting families they are supposed to represent,” reads a script of the ad obtained by They Daily News. (Hear the audio after the jump!)
“Why? We think the head of the landlord lobby said it best, when he said, quote, ‘We basically emptied our piggy bank in order to make sure the Republicans recaptured the Senate.’ That’s right – landlords gave millions to the Republicans, and now the Senate Republicans are protecting landlord profits instead of fighting for tenants.”
Lanza of Staten Island and Golden of Brooklyn are the only two members of the Seante GOP majority from the city and their votes could be pivotal in the battle over rent regulations.
While Democrats in the Senate and Assembly are pushing for strengthened tenant protections – including an end to vacancy decontrol – Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has said he favors simply extending the existing regulations.
Lanza, reached on his cell phone, slammed the R3 group for playing politics with the issue and not bothering to meet with him to discuss the issue: “Clearly, by doing that they are revealing that they really don’t care about the issue they care about politics and partisanship,” Lanza said.
Lanza said he supports some “enhancements” of rent regulations but declined to offer specifics because negotiations were still taking place.
Golden did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has also said he’s open to strengthening the existing laws.
The ad represents a shift in tactics for the R3 group, which had previously directed much of its energy at Gov. Cuomo, staging “Cuomoville” protests around the city.
“We have set out what we intended to do in terms of getting the issue to be a priority for Gov. Cuomo,” said one R3 official.