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Posted by NYS tenants on June 11, 2000 at 22:23:03:

In Reply to: NYC: Met Council plans protest at Gracie Mansion posted by Anna on June 10, 2000 at 08:13:43:


On Tuesday June 13, a group of tenants will be spending the night in front
of Gracie Mansion to protest the homelessness that will be caused by Mayor
Giuliani's proposed Rent Guidelines Board rent increases. The final vote on
the rent increases will come June 22nd.

Tenants are encouraged to join the vigil. For details, please call Met
Council at 212-693-0553 ext 6. (but you can just show up -- see below)

The Mayor's Corporation Counsel is trying to prevent tenants from sleeping
in front of Gracie Mansion (see story below), but they do not dispute
tenants' right to stay overnight -- as long as tenants are vertical, not
horizontal, they will not object.

But tenants were in federal court a few days ago, represented by Chris Dunn
and Norman Seigel of the N.Y. Civil Liberties Union; If they prevail, it
will set a precedent, allowing sleep-ins to be constitutionally protected
speech in NYC.

Organized/Sponsored by Metropolitan Council of Tenants

Bring your signs, songs, puppets, props, outrage and joy.

Rally and Overnight Vigil
at Gracie Mansion
Tuesday, June 13th
Rally from 6-8pm, Vigil from Dusk 'til Dawn.
E 88th Street and East End Ave, Manhattan.

(4, 5, 6 trains to 86th Street then walk east
or M86 bus to E 86th St. and York
or M15 bus to 88th St. and 1st Ave)


Rudy Giuliani's Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) is proposing 4% and 6%
increases on renewal leases for all rent stabilized tenants. In addition,
the RGB plans to again clobber low income tenants with the $15 "poor tax".

Furthermore, the RGB has proposed a 4% increase for low-income tenants in
Single Room Occupancies (SROs). Giuliani, who lives rent free in the
elegance of Gracie Mansion, appoints all nine members of the Rent
Guidelines Board. The RGB's suggested increases come at a time when social
services are sustaining heavy cuts and landlord profits are at an all time
high. Don't let Giuliani force more families into the street. It's time to
say "No More Increases!"

No Rent Increases Are Justified

Rudy's Rent Guidelines Board claims that rent increases are needed because
of the spike in fuel prices. But the logic and the numbers just don't add
up: Though fuel prices have risen, New York has just experienced one of the
warmest winters in history. The RGB also has no plans to lower our rents
once fuel prices normalize -- meaning that tenants would pay permanent
increases for temporary fuel price hikes. Last year, landlords enjoyed an
11% increase in profits -- as they did the year before that. In both years
the RGB itself reported that landlord costs had gone up no more than 0.1%
each year. Yet rent stabilized tenants were hit with increases (2% and 4%)
for both years. In reality this game has little to do with logic or facts
-- it's about the most powerful real estate industry in the country
demanding runaway profits.

Abolish The "Poor Tax"

In every year since he took office, Giuliani's RGB has slammed hundreds of
thousands of rent stabilized tenants with a "poor tax" of $15. The "poor
tax" is a surcharge which is added to all stabilized rents of $500 or less,
in addition to the annual renewal lease percentages. The vast majority of
people who get this surcharge are on a fixed income and nearly 70% are
Black or Latino. The "poor tax" creates hardship for families on fixed
incomes and disproportionately affects communities of color. Consider these

* About half of the of under-$500 rent stabilized housing stock has been
lost since 1993. (From 417,438 units in 1993 to 209,725 units in 1999)

* African American and Latino families make up less than 50% of all rent
stabilized households, but nearly 70% of these families live in under-$500
apartments (and get hit with the "poor tax").

* The average annual income of tenants in under-$500 stabilized units is
$15,000. (source: 1993, 1996, 1999 NYC Housing and Vacancy Surveys, U.S.
Census Bureau)

Thursday, June 15th,

Tenants should show up and testify in force!
Testimony will be heard from 10am-9:30pm.
(you can reserve your time to testify by phone, or just show up)
call RGB: (212) 385-2834
Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 E 7th Street (near Bowery), Manhattan.
(N, R trains to 8th Street or 6 to Astor Place)

Thursday, June 22nd
Also at Cooper Union. Tenants should again show up in force!
Vote will occur between 5pm-9pm.

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