"Starrett City and its 20,000 residents can't wait until the fall for the legislature to protect their homes. Their homes are set to be sold before the next session begins - and then they'll have nowhere to turn . . . We can't wait one minute longer. The Assembly has passed this important legislation, but we need the Senate and the Governor to put these bills on their agendas before they can become law. If Governor Spitzer and Senator Bruno do not act during this session, we will immediately lose 6,000 affordable apartments and thousands more in other Mitchell-Lama buildings . . . There are only two possibilities - either we pass these vital reforms, or thousands of the voters who believed we would change New York for the better will be pushed out of their homes."- Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns, chair of the Assembly's Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus
The state legislative session ended with the Republican-controlled State Senate refusing to take action to protect affordable housing, even though thousands of units of affordable housing are going to be lost this summer without Senate action.
New York Is Our Home made a trip to Albany during the legislative session to demand that Governor Spitzer and Senate Majority Leader Bruno pass A795, the Save Starrett City bill, and A352. The Assembly Housing Committee and the Assembly Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus joined with us. So what was our reception in the Senate?
Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno flat out refused to meet with us.
That's a disgrace. With rents the way they are, Joe Bruno and his Senate Republican majority ought to be ashamed. And we're going to make sure everyone knows it.
First, tell your State Senators to pass affordable housing legislation.
Then download the New York Is Our Home "Shame on Bruno" ringtone for your phone.
When Bruno wouldn't meet with us in Albany, we protested outside of his office. Our chant then was "Shame on Bruno." Now we've turned that chant into a ringtone for your phone so you can put the pressure on. Here's the original ringtone and the remix version. When someone asks you what your ringtone is, explain how the Senate Republicans and Joe Bruno are getting rid of affordable housing through their inaction. If enough people download the ringtone then word will spread to your friends and to their friends, and we can reach enough people to force action to protect affordable housing.
If you want to know more, here is a detailed description of what New York Is Our Home stands for and here is the Losing Ground report that documents the housing affordability crisis.
One last bonus: more pictures from the "Hands Around Stuy Town" rally. These are from the West Side Neighborhood Alliance at the rally and prepping for it beforehand.