Statements from Ruth Messinger

Manhattan Borough President
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Immediate Release:
April 24, 1997
Contact: Lisa Daglian

212-669-8139 (o)
917-252-3013 (b)

MESSINGER CALLS FOR CITY REFERENDUM ON RENT REGULATIONS
CALLS ON GUILIANI TO REVEAL SECRET BACK ROOM DEAL

Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger today called for a
City referendum on rent regulations at a hearing before the State
Assembly Committee on Housing. Her call for a referendum depends
on passage of legislation, A-6352, introduced by Assemblyman
Lopez, which would allow cities of over one million to decide the
fate of their own rent regulations. Messinger called for the
decision to be made by the people who would be affected, saying,
"Our cityís homes, families and future are at stake in this
debate. Save our rent laws today: Make this a home rule issue."

She also called on Mayor Giuliani to reveal the back room deal he
is brokering. "With smiles on their faces, the Governor, the
Senate Majority Leader and the Mayor emerge from secret, closed
door sessions over rent regulations. "Not to worry, all will be
well when the deal is finally cut," they try to reassure us. I am
not reassured. Nor is the vast majority of my fellow New Yorkers.
On an issue so important to so many New York City households,
both sides can't be right. If the secret back room deal youíre
brokering is so good for one million households why not let them
in on the secret?"

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Immediate Release:
Sunday, May 11, 1997
Contact: Lisa Daglian

212-669-8139 (o)
917-252-3013 (b)

MESSINGER URGES PATAKI, SILVER, BRUNO, GUILIANI AND DíAMATO
TO SUPPORT REFERENDUM ON RENT CONTROL
SAYS "PEOPLE, NOT POLITICIANS" SHOULD DECIDE ITS FUTURE

Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger today joined tenant
leaders on the steps of City Hall to urge that "New York City
residents, not New York State legislators" decide the future of
rent regulation for New York City.

"If regulation is not a home rule issue," said Messinger,
"thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers may very well lose their
homes."

Noting the fact that "more than 90 percent of the rent regulated
apartments in New York State are in New York City, "Messinger is
calling upon the State Legislature and Governor George Pataki to
give the City the right to have a referendum on the City's ballot
to decide "whether New Yorkers want to keep rent regulation as it
is, change it or throw it out altogether." It is a question,
Messinger argues, "that should be decided by the people, not by
the politicians".

Messinger proposes to keep rent regulations as they are for the
next two years, have the Legislature repeal a State law that
denies New York City "home rule" control over rent regulation and
then submit the future of rent regulations to New York City on a
ballot referendum.

"Whether itís Governor Pataki, Mayor Giuliani or Senator DíAmato,
everyoneís saying letís make a deal on rent regulation. New
Yorkers donít want a deal on rent regulation," Messinger said.
"They want a vote."

Joining Messinger at this morningís press conference were tenant
leaders from the Community Service Society, the Goddard-Riverside
Community Center, Chelsea United for Tenants' Rights, the Cooper
Square Association, the Harlem Restoration Project, B.R.A.V.E.S.,
and the Northern Manhattan Tenant Coalition, a coalition of eight
tenantís groups.

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Manhattan Borough President
RUTH MESSINGER

Immediate Release:
Tuesday, May 20, 1997
Contact: Lisa Daglian

212-669-8139 (o)
917-252-3013 (b)

MESSINGER MEETS WITH SILVER AND TENANT GROUPS IN ALBANY TO RENEW
CALL FOR EXTENSION OF RENT REGULATIONS AND REPEAT CALL FOR
REFERENDUM -- SAYS "PEOPLE, NOT POLITICIANS" SHOULD DECIDE ITS
FUTURE

Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messenger today met with State
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and joined tenant leaders in
Albany to urge that rent regulations be extended as they are for
two more years. In addition, she repeated her call for a
referendum so that, "New York City residents, not New York State
legislators'' decide the future of rent regulation in New York
City.

"If rent regulation is not a home rule issue," said Messinger,
"thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers may very well lose their
homes."

Noting the fact that "more than 90 percent of the rent regulated
apartments in New York State are in New York City," Messinger has
called upon the State Legislature and Governor George Pataki to
give the City the right to have a referendum on the Cityís ballot
to decide "whether New Yorkers want to keep rent regulation as it
is, change it or throw it out altogether." It is a question,
Messinger argues, "that should be decided by the people, not by
the politicians."

Messinger proposes to:

o    Keep rent regulations as they are [for the next two years;

o    Have the Legislature repeal the State law that denies New
     York City "home rule" control over rent regulation;

o    Submit the future of rent regulations to New York City
     voters in a ballot referendum.

"Whether itís Governor Pataki, Mayor Giuliani or Senator D`Amato,
everyone is saying letís make a deal on rent regulation. New
Yorkers donít want a deal on rent regulation," Messinger said.

"They want a vote."

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TESTIMONY BY MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT RUTH MESSINGER
STATE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HOUSING

APRIL 24, 1997

Good afternoon, Chairman Lopez and members of the Assembly
Committee on Housing. I thank you for the opportunity to testify
on one of New York Cityís most critical issues -- making sure
that the families of new York -- whether rich, poor, or somewhere
in between -- can put a safe, affordable roof over their heads.

Itís not easy. Home prices are soaring. Thousands of units are
being abandoned every year. Penthouses are being built in a
speculative frenzy, but modest, single family homes are as rare
as a bald eagle in Central Park.

No question about it. These are tough times for families trying
to make ends meet. Unfortunately, they are about to get even
tougher. And, for that, we have government to blame.

By now, any of us who watches the evening news is familiar with
the routine. With smiles on their faces, the governor, the Senate
Majority Leader and the Mayor emerge from secret, closed-door
sessions over rent regulation. "Not to worry," they tell the
hordes of waiting reporters. "All will be well when the deal is
finally cut," they try to reassure us.

I am not reassured. Nor is the vast majority of my fellow New
Yorkers. Because weíve seen it all before. The Mayor is talking
out of both sides of his mouth.

One minute the Mayor praises as "courageous" those who vote with
the Majority Leader to prevent the Assembly Rent Regulations Bill
from coming to the floor of the Senate. The next minute heís
praising those who vote against the Senate Majority Leader.

One minute heís saying heís the most ardent defender of rent
regulations the city has ever had. The next heís willing to
accept some changes, some modifications, some number of families
under regulation now who wonít be once he gets done with them.

With all due respect, Mr. Mayor, just hold the damn horses. On an
issue so important to so many New York City households, both
sides canít be right. If a secret, backroom deal youíre
personally brokering is so good for those one million households,
why not let them in on the secret?

Reveal the deal, Rudy, or George, or Joe. Are you keeping those
New Yorkers in their homes, or, as if suspect and fear, are you
just selling them down the river? How steep is the slippery slope
down which you would have us slide, Mr. Mayor? How high the cost,
Mr. Majority leader? How widespread the suffering for the
families of New York, Mr. Governor?


The simple fact is: Thereís only one deal thatís fair, only one
deal that does right and, to use the Mayorís words, only one deal
that will be seen as truly courageous by the families of New
York. That deal is to keep rent regulation in its present form.

Unfortunately the Mayor, the Governor and the Majority Leader
have taken that deal off the table. And they wonít tell us what
theyíd put in its place. Good politics? Maybe. Lousy, Shameful
public policy? Absolutely.

Every three years we go through the same crisis, the same effort
to hold one million New York City households hostage. Itís time
to stop, Mr. Chairman. Time to take the politicians out of the
debate over rent regulation and put the people back in charge.

Thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, and 21 very courageous colleagues in
the Assembly, that could well happen this year. Your brilliant
legislation -- A-6352 -- takes the Brunos, the Patakis, the
DíAmatos out of what out to be a local decision decided by those
who live and are trying to raise families in that locality. I
support your effort wholeheartedly.

As fundamentally important and essential as your legislation is,
it is only the first step of what I would urge. I would go a step
further. Upon passage of your bill, I would propose that the
people of New York decide for ourselves in a referendum when and
how rent regulation ought to be changed, or if it should be
changed at all.

To those engaged in backroom brokering these days, itís
personally and unfamiliar concept. But to the rest of us, itís
what we call democracy. And if ever an issue demanded democracy,
it is rent regulation.

It is our housing market, our housing crisis and our right to
decide how best to solve the crisis we face. I do not presume or
pretend to know how best to solve the housing problems of
Peekskill or Rensselaer. Then why do Mr. Pataki or Mr. Bruno
pretend to know whatís best for New York City? Frankly, theyíre
sticking their noses where they donít belong.

They say they want fundamental reform of rent regulation. Okay.
Then use the most fundamental reform in the history of reform --
Democracy.

Our cityís homes, families and future are at stake in this
debate. Save our rent laws today; make this a Home Rule issue.
Place your faith and trust in the great people of this great
city.

Thank you.