- New York City 06/24/2015 by Linda Perry (WBAI News)
New York Governor Cuomo held a news conference with Assembly Speaker Heasties and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan yesterday afternoon.
“We have a framework of an agreement leaders will be presenting to their conference shortly."
The framework of a deal calls for extending rent regulations for four years, but what is key -- to abolish vacancy decontrol -- is missing. It lets landlords raise rent on an apartment when a tenant leaves and the deal calls for a very small raise in the cap, from $2500 to $2700 in the amount at which an apartment can be deregulated. Tenant advocates say this will result in the deregulation of 100,000 apartments across the city. They also fear increased harassment by landlords. And what about 421A, the law which gives tax breaks to luxury developers? Well, in the deal it would be extended for six months.
But is this really a deal? Tomorrow will be the litmus test. That’s when rank and file Senators and Assembly Members will decide if they will vote for the deal their leaders made with the Governor. Make the Road New York says, “Governor Cuomo promised to strengthen the rent laws. Instead, he and the Republican leadership in the State Senate did the bidding of the landlords and real estate developers by extending current failed policies." They want the Assembly to stand up to the Governor and to the state senate and stand firm against the deal.
Tenant advocates held a rally this morning in front of Governor Cuomo’s office. There’s another rally by tenant activists and elected officials this evening beginning at 5:30 outside Cooper Union, on E. 7th street in downtown Manhattan.
In other news
The New York Civil Liberties Union released a report today Dignity for All. It documents on discrimination and harassment against transgender and gender nonconforming youth in New York public schools across the state. It says the discrimination is widespread and pervasive. Lauren Frederico is a social worker and lead organizer with the NYCLU.
A five-year-old state law to protect all students from bullying also explicitly prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived gender. The NYCLU says it will work with school districts to ensure the law is followed. Here's what they say needs to be done:
And finally, when you go to Whole Foods, does your grocery bill seem too high? NYC's Department of Consumer Affairs found the Whole Foods routinely overcharges customers by overstating the weight on prepackaged meat, dairy and baked goods. Julie Menon is New York City's Consumer Affairs Commissioner.
The overcharges ranged from $0.80 for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp! DCA says their findings point to a systematic problem with how products packaged for sale at Whole Foods are weighed and labeled.