Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brooklyn/Queens Town Hall a Success!

Sam Stein, facilitator for the Real Rent Reform Campaign, reported:

The town hall was good!  We had a couple hundred tenants there music, elected officials and clergy. 

THE SPONSORS:
The event was sponsored by the Pratt Area Community Council with the support of ANHD (Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development), DC-37Make The Road, New York Communities for Change, and Tenants & Neighbors, and was emceed by Jon Furlong of PACC.  


THE PROGRAM:  The interim pastor from Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church - Rev. Carmen Mason-Browne- introduced the event and welcomed everyone there. Tenants spoke about the issues affecting all our lives: Major Capital Improvements (MCIs), 7.5% Maximum Base Rent (MBR) increases for rent controlled tenants, the need for Rent Guidelines Board reform, and preferential rents.  

Ericka Stallings from ANHD spoke out about the need for new rules and regulations to improve enforcement by the state's housing agency, NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR), and about Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs)  in particular.  

Maggie Russell-Ciardi, executive director of Tenants & Neighbors, spoke out about the city's new proposals for J-51, and the need to fight for new tenant protections, not just defend the ones we have.  

Assembly Member James Brennan spoke out in favor of the bills R3 has championed this year.  

Council Members Jumaane Williams and Letitia James spoke out about the need for stronger rent protections, and the role NYC should play in crafting them.  

District Leader Walter Mosely pledged to continue fighting for tenants, and said it would be a top priority of his going forward.  


There was music from the Filthy Rotten System Band, a band of Catholic Workers.  

CALL TO ACTION:  Tenants pledged to demand change before the end of this legislative session.