Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tenants Take Over Caucus Weekend!

See below for a blow-by-blow from our Valentine's Day trip to Albany, and an update on upcoming vacancy decontrol actions. Our tentatively planned trip to Albany next Tuesday, Feb. 24 has been POSTPONED until mid-March.

Last Saturday, tenants from across the city flooded the Annual Black and Latino Caucus in Albany, calling on legislators to repeal Vacancy Decontrol!

Over two hundred tenants and leaders descended on the capital, calling on members and participants of the caucus to repeal vacancy decontrol. Tenants spent hours passing out flyers, handing out stickers, and collecting signatures demanding the passage of the Senate bill that would signal the most significant win for tenants in more than three decades.

Tenants held a press conference and rally at the Legislative Office Building, followed with the Caucus workshop on Housing. We were joined by Senators Andrea Stewart Cousins and Bill Perkins and our allies Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. Tenant leaders moved the crowd, including Julia Boyd of ACORN, Joseph Ferdinand and Ramona Santana of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Narcisa of Make the Road NY and Cathy Stephans of Community Voices Heard.

Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins announced she introduced the bill to repeal vacancy decontrol in the Senate as S2237. It already has 23 co-sponsors, and needs only 9 more votes to win. The fight is on to get every Senator we can signed on to the bill in the coming weeks.

We closed the day marching through the concourse on their way to the buses, chanting so loudly that there could be no mistaking what everyone was there for.

The repeal of vacancy decontrol would halt the loss of tens of thousands of affordable apartments from New York City.We need to keep the pressure on to carry the bill through the Senate! Check out who has already signed on:

Has your Senator signed on?


Great work to all the groups that made a special effort to turn out members for this event, including Make the Road NY, ACORN, Community Voices Heard, Housing Conservation Coordinators, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Tenants & Neighbors and Tenants PAC. This event could not have happened with out all of your hard work and dedication to this effort.


The tentatively scheduled Lobby Visit to Albany for Next Tuesday the 24th has been postponed. Stay tuned for an early-March press conference, and many more actions to come.

We need to do everything we can in pushing the Senate to pass the repeal of vacancy decontrol. There are nine Senators who have not yet signed on. Let's start planning phone banks, district rallies, flyering, forums, and everything else we can to get these Senators on-board with tenants. Get together with your group and brainstorm actions you can take on.


For more information on upcoming mobilizations, please contact me! I can be reached at (718) 246-7900 x273 or


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