Why vote for Bill Thompson? Bloomberg will kill Rent Stabilization Laws in his 3rd term
I knew that the day Michael Bloomberg bought his way into City Hall back in 2005 was the end of the political process here in NYC. It's amazing how he's completely sucked the hope out of elections by throwing hundreds of millions of dollars around in a city where but the very few do not suffer from making ends meet.
You either have to be extremely rich or extremely poor in New York City to get any government breaks. Rudy Guiliani started the war against rent-stabilization laws and Bloomberg has stepped up an even more violent affront as we can see his complete "FUCK YOU" to the renters living in Stuyvesant-Town, the place I call home.
Bloomberg and everybody involved knew it was illegal for MetLife and TishmanSpiers to get government subsidies while they aggressively warehoused, vacated and pushed into market prices apartments that WeThePeople financed and subsidized with out taxes. Bloomberg knew but instead of siding with us, the people, he walked away and said nary a peep when this place was sold for the indecent price of 6 billion dollars.
Can I tell you about the cockroaches and rats partying every night since TishmanSpiers took over? Can I tell you about all the undocumented workers this company has subcontracted via out-of-town companies? Can I tell you about the virtual private army TishmanSpiers uses to intimidate renters while they're evicting people from rent-stabilized apartments? Can I tell you about the high-end slum lording they've got going on with New York University where they throw 4 sometimes 6 graduate students in an apartment charging them $2,000/month a piece? How about the wrongfully evicted people who were thrown on the street and now can't come back to the place they called home even after the landmark decision that will have both MetLife and TishmanSpiers paying millions in illegally charged rents?
Bloomberg really lost all my respect the day he kept silent while my Councilman Dan Garodnick, Comptroller Bill Thompson and the Renter's Association couldn't best the Backrock/Tishman $6 billion bid. A bid that rumors have it had been signed-sealed-and-delivered months before the fauxctioning of Stuy-Town.
Let me put it succinctly: renters of all kinds but mostly working and middleclass renters in stabilized aparments are fucked with a third Bloomberg term.
If you think am being melodramatic, read on.
Alex Pareene points out rather forcefully over at Gawkerwhat Bloomberg's killing of affordable housing in New York Ciy looks like:
And those luxury Williamsbug condo buildings, by the way, that stand vacant? Yes, well, that was part of this brilliant plan to utilize rezoning to spur the free market (which always allocates resources more efficiently than anything else in the history of civilization but sometimes it needs government help, like with tax breaks and stuff) to create affordable housing all over the waterfront. This did not work, as developers decided to just not bother to build all those affordable housing units they were supposed to build. More than 2,200 promised new affordable apartments in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have turned out to be 768, 20 percent of which are renovations of apartments that were already affordable. There are lots more of these stories.
His record on housing, like his record on nearly everything having to do with the outer boroughs and poverty and human beings who make less than $100,000 a year, has been a ridiculous disgrace. His entire philosophy of development solving everything turned out to be precisely, 100% wrong, and suddenly the city itself was driving the real estate boom, driving up land prices to absurd levels across the boroughs and tearing down neighborhoods only to replace them with vacant lots and half-filled cheaply built hideous high-rises once the bottom fell out of the City Hall-inflated market. But hey, we got the High Line and 311! So you can sleep in that fancy park while you call 311 asking if there is room in a shelter because you can no longer afford your home.
Over at BloombergWatch there's the kick-ass post and hell of a warning by Neil Fabricant who describes in wonkish detail all the back-room deals Bloomberg has managed to pull in his quest to destroy rent stabilization laws:
Those of you who have read Joyce Purnick’s semi-authorized biography will recall Bloomberg’s modus operandi – “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting fucked,” New Yorkers, especially tenants, should know the deal by now.
Bill Thompson is the only alternative to four more years of Marvin “Markup” Marcus rent hikes. We think it’s likely that Bloomberg will back a move in Albany to end rent regulation. Whatever draconian policies are awaiting their post-election announcements, rent-stabilized tenants who don’t go out to vote for Bill Thompson tomorrow will deserve what they get—and get it they will. Those who do vote will get it right along with them.
I know this seems like a last minute post but many of you are working your long hours, not leaving work until 7pm sometimes 8pm. And I know there'll be quite a number of you who will head out to the pub or the sofa and not worry about voting.
To those activists who have friends like that, I urge you to pass around this post or call your friends right now and tell them to get the hell in front of the voting booth if they dont want to be out on the streets with no affordable housing left in the city.
Vote like the roof over your head depended on it. Because it does.