Tenants PAC Announces Citywide andBorough-wide Endorsements
July 25, 2017
Contact Michael McKee, 917-669-2977
New York, N.Y. - Tenants PAC, New York's leading organization supporting pro-tenant candidates for public office, today announced their endorsements for citywide and borough-wide offices, endorsing Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
Tenants PAC endorsed de Blasio four years ago in a multiple-candidate Democratic primary.
"We believe that Mayor de Blasio will be able to build on the successes of his first term and make significant gains in other areas where more effort is required," said Michael McKee, Treasurer of Tenants PAC. "In his first term, Mayor de Blasio has done some excellent things, including the partial rent freeze for rent-stabilized tenants for two years in a row, a first in the 45+ year history of the Rent Guidelines Board. He has also smartly publicized the rent freeze and the SCRIE and DRIE programs, which now have the highest enrollments in their history; with the City Council, he has greatly increased funding for eviction prevention; and supported the right to counsel in housing court.
"However, there are clear areas where the Mayor has been less successful. His highly-touted affordable housing plan has focused on production rather than preservation, produced units that will not be affordable for too many low and moderate-income New Yorkers, and will unleash the forces of gentrification and displacement in marginal neighborhoods which will see an influx of market-rate housing.
"The mayor's unfortunate proposal for the new 421-a tax subsidy, which was made even worse by Albany, will cost the City far more than the old program while barely increasing the requirement to build affordable apartments, and failing to offer basic protections for many tenants. Above all, the mayor has failed to use his bully pulpit to push for repeal of Vacancy Deregulation and other loopholes in the rent laws that have cost the city far more affordable apartments than he can ever build. We urge that he focus on this issue and work to activate and mobilize the millions of tenants into a grass roots force that can overcome the pro-landlord forces in Albany.
"But despite these problems, Bill de Blasio has been the most pro-tenant mayor we have had in a very long time, and we believe that he deserves re-election."
In addition to de Blasio, Tenants PAC endorsed Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for re-election.
"Tenants PAC endorsed Tish James four years ago when she first ran for Public Advocate, and we support her re-election with enthusiasm," said McKee. "Tish James is everything tenants could want in a Public Advocate. She has aggressively pursued bad landlords and stood up for tenants time and again, including devoting considerable resources of her office to defending tenants and tenant associations under attack. She has been fearless in taking on city government and the political establishment when necessary to advance the cause of tenants and working people."
"Gale Brewer is an exceptional public servant," McKee stated. "She's hard-working and effective, and always on the front lines for tenants. As The New York Times said in its endorsement of Gale Brewer in 2013, when Tenants PAC endorsed her in a four-way primary, 'We can't do without her.' We strongly support her re-election."
Tenants PAC has reviewed the records of incumbent members of the New York City Council and has voted to endorse several, based on their legislative performance. Those incumbents who have already been endorsed include:
Manhattan:CCD 3 Corey JohnsonCCD 5 Ben KallosCCD 6 Helen RosenthalCCD 7 Mark LevineCCD 9 Bill Perkins Queens:CCD 27 Daneek MillerCCD 31 Donovan Richards Brooklyn:CCD 33 Steve LevinCCD 34 Antonio ReynosoCCD 38 Carlos MenchacaCCD 39 Brad LanderCCD 45 Jumaane Williams Staten Island:CCD 49 Debi Rose
While the State Legislature has wrongly taken away the City Council’s authority over the rent laws that directly affect NYC residents, the Council can enact other laws to protect renters and preserve our threatened affordable housing stock.