People are talking. Here's what they're saying.
Here's Ed Ott, Executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council, a federation of 400 affiliated local unions representing over one million working men and women in New York City:
"A top priority at the Central Labor Council since our inception has been to protect affordable housing and preserve tenant rights for the working men and women we represent. The lack of affordable housing in New York has become an unmitigated crisis. With tenant rights our focus, we will continue to work hard to protect the millions of low and moderate income tenants who now live in daily fear of losing their homes."
Here's George Gresham, President of 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, a union representing 275,000 nurses, nurses aides and home health care aides:
"Our deeply flawed rent laws have failed to protect the affordable housing that we have, squeezing thousands of New Yorkers out of their homes, with thousands more on the brink. It is absolutely vital to working families in this City that our elected officials make immediate progress on this agenda."
Here's Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the Working Families Party:
"Elected officials need to realize that the housing crisis in New York City has reached a boiling point. While the Bloomberg Administration is building 165,000 new units of affordable housing, we are set to lose more than twice that in the coming years. Already we have lost hundreds of thousands of units of affordable housing in this City. We are putting this back on the agenda and making this a litmus test for the 2008 elections. We will be judging our elected officials by their success and commitment to this affordable housing agenda."
Here's Randi Weingarten, President of the United Federation of Teachers:
"In terms of our government's investment in protecting affordable housing, the rent is way past due. Thousands of working families – including teachers, teacher's aides and home daycare workers – lost their homes to skyrocketing rents last year. Thousands more will lose them this year. This agenda for reforming our destructive rent regulation laws cannot wait."
Here's Bertha Lewis, Executive Director of NY ACORN:
"After Stuyvesant Town, after Starrett City, after tens of thousands of rent stabilized units being converted in our neighborhoods, when are our elected officials going to step up and say 'enough'. On Wednesday we are going to wrap ourselves around Stuyvesant Town to send a message and put this issue back on the map — and then we're going to fan out into Senate and Assembly districts and work until election day to ensure that this finally gets on Albany's agenda."
We'll give the last word to Julie Miles of Housing Here & Now, Director of the New York Is Our Home Campaign:
"This is a big agenda. But as the mayor has reminded all of us — we need to take action today to secure New York City's future. Securing the hundreds of thousands of affordable units that we are losing by repealing vacancy decontrol is the most important action government leaders can take to solve the affordable housing crisis."