Posted by TenantNet on September 09, 1997 at 10:11:55:
TENANTS SUPPORT SAL ALBANESE FOR MAYOR
Democratic Primary: Tuesday, September 9th
There are many reasons why Rudy Guiliani should not
be Mayor for another four years. Among many things, he stacked
the Rent Guidelines Board with landlord sympathizers who
in turn gave tenants the highest increases in a decade, he
gutted what little was left of the NYC Dept. of Housing
Preservation and Development/HPD (housing inspectors
are below 200 from over 800 and in most cases you can't
get an inspection without a court order), the Department of
Buildings is in shambles and he advocated rent deposits
into Housing Court. This spring he tried to portray
himself as a friend of tenants, but he did what any smart
politician would do: coopt the issue to avoid the hot seat
from his challengers.
In her years as Manhattan Borough President, Ruth Messinger
has done little to advance tenants rights, and she has not
put forward any reasons why she would make a good Mayor. Indeed,
she is doing her best to pull a Bill Clinton, seeing how much
she can look Republican -- or worse, allied with
the Silver/Vallone machine. It's not so much that she
supported the Trump Riverside South project, it's that she
doesn't have the philosophical "core" it takes to be Mayor.
In the last two weeks, after promising to stay out of the
District #2 Council race, Messenger endorsed Silver's crony
Judy Rapfogel in exchange for Silver's endorsement. She might
as well have endorsed Antonio Pagan! During the Rent Wars,
Messinger called for Home Rule (Lt. Governor Betsy Ross was
the other politician to make a similar call and the idea was
trashed by Silver-controlled Tenants & Neighbors).
While it was about time someone put this issue on the table it's
doubtful Messinger was sincere. At the time every politician
(except Alan Hevesi who wants to run for Mayor in 2001 and
feels compelled to cozy-up to real estate interests) was advancing
their "take" on the crisis. Now that tenant protections are
on a slow sure burn to extinction, and out of the spotlight,
Ruth hasn't mentioned housing once.
Sharpton? He has built some credibility since the Tawana Brawley
days (and some of his statements hit the nail on the head),
but he's not Mayor material yet. Al, come back in ten years
after you've done something.
WHY SAL ALBANESE
Met Council seems to think none of the Democratic candidates
have raised tenant/housing issues since June 15th. They're wrong.
Of all the Democratic challengers, Sal Albanese of Brooklyn
is the only candidate to focus on (not just mention) tenants
and housing as a critical issue in this city. We met with
Mr. Albanese several weeks ago and challenged him to be
specific with his housing proposals; it wasn't enough that
he (as did Ruth Messinger and others) trounce around Albany
with hysterical tenants. It's not about militance; it's about
Although the depth of detail is wanting, the following letter
from Sal Albanese carries the most specific housing proposals
we've seen from any Mayoral candidate. What also struck us
was Sal's sense of community. Once you get below the surface
of campaign platitudes, he made it clear this city must have strong
neighborhoods to survive, and that calls for a "balance of
community and business concerns." As much as Rudy's core is
meanness and the lie, Sal's core is an overall sense of what's
good for the long-term needs of the community. No wonder he
was repeatedly elected to City Council from Republican Bayridge.
Moreover, Albanese is the only candidate to focus on
campaign finance reform. If anything, this year demonstrated
that not only Joe Bruno and George Pataki get landlord payoffs,
but also Sheldon Silver and other "progressive" Democrats are
beneficiaries of massive real estate contributions (either directly
or through secondary PAC disbursements from Silver or Vallone),
and will readily sell tenants out and declare victory in the same
This Tuesday, get out to Vote for Sal Albanese. (you can
also learn more by visiting Sal's web site at
September 2, 1997
As a member of the City Council and candidate for mayor, the
fight to protect tenants' rights is very important to me.
This year we worked together in the fight to protect those
rights, and only narrowly averted a disaster. New York must
make affordable housing available to all its residents.
Rents have increased 20 percent citywide in the Giuliani
administration, evidence of the current administration's
complete disregard for the interests of average New Yorkers
* This city needs a real housing policy.
* The Rent Guidelines Board is heavily weighted in favor of
Giuliani-appointed landlords. I'll restore the proper
balance, a fair balance, of landlords and tenants.
* I will lobby to restructure the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal. Pataki has made it a pro-landlord body.
* I will lobby to clean up the housing courts system in order
to bring about speedy and fair adjudication.
* We need to protect the Sound Housing Act and prevent the
demolition of affordable housing in favor of luxury
high-rises. I'll get the Demolition Clause of the new law
* We must reform and reorganize the Department of Housing
Preservation and Development, making it more responsive to
community housing needs. Above all, we must hire more
I'm asking for your support in my campaign for mayor. Among
the candidates, I have the strongest record on tenants'
issues. I was the only candidate to testify before the Rent
Guidelines Board against the citywide rent increase in
rent-regulated apartments in 1996. This year I was the first
candidate to go to Albany to protest state de-regulation.
My campaign is largely based on the idea of reform, whether
it is in housing policy, tax structure, or campaign finance.
This last part of my agenda, campaign finance reform, is
vital to carrying out the rest. It would level the playing
field, making public officials accountable to average New
Yorkers rather than wealthy real estate or other special
I think that if we combine our efforts, we can bring about a
government that works for all its citizens.
Sal F. Albanese
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