Carlina Rivera is the least progressive candidate running for Congress!
Carlina Rivera played a key role for the real estate lobby in denying economic justice to all small business owners in NYC.
Carlina Rivera had a critical choice to make for the future survival of every business owner. She choose to side with the real estate lobby and destroy the only real lifeline to save our small businesses and jobs.
The SBC* is the oldest organization and only real advocate for small businesses left in NYC. For over 36 years we have been fighting for the legislation we created giving rights and justice to our city’s small business owners when their leases expired. Rights needed to renew long term 10 years, equal rights to negotiate fair lease terms that allowed a reasonable profit, and an arbitration process to protect the business owners from rent gouging and forcing businesses to pay their landlord’s taxes. Our bill, Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Jobs Survival Act, was the only real lifeline to give our business owners a fighting chance to survive, make a reasonable profit, to grow their businesses and create jobs and to restore their American Dream. For over 30 years our bill was the only solution ever presented in the Council to stop the closing of long established successful popular businesses that were willing and able to pay a fair rent. * https://www.savenycjobs.com/
This vital bill was the oldest legislation in Council history and the most hotly debated and challenged by the real estate lobby with the support of the corrupt Democratic leadership they bought at every election. But with the courage and commitment of true progressive lawmakers and community activists our tenant’s bill survived against the decades of collusion and rigging of our government to kill it.
Over the decades, with the support of progressive lawmakers and against all odds, we successfully exposed and stopped seven bills created by the real estate lobby, and supported by corrupt leadership, to substitute for the Jobs Survival Act. All of these lobby created bills had one goal, to keep the status quo with landlords in full control of the city’s commercial lease renewal process. All of these lobby created bills gave no rights or protection to the business owners, thus keeping their survival and profitability potential at the sole mercy of their landlords.
Why is the Jobs Survival Act and its decades long battle with lobbies and corrupt politicians relevant to the 10th Congressional race? Because on March 24, 2022 in the new Council, a bill was introduced, Commercial Rent Stabilization Act, CRS, intro 93*. This bill was created by the real estate lobby to substitute for the Jobs Survival Act! This was the first Council since June 1986 that the Jobs Survival Act was not reintroduced. The real estate lobby was finally successful in their conspiracy, collusion, and rigging with morally corrupt politicians to kill the only real lifeline to save our businesses. The CRS bill will put in grave jeopardy the future of every small business owner and their workers when their leases expired and they have no rights. This lobby created bill would continue to keep the status quo for the landlords and the continued destruction of the backbone of our economy.
The lawmaker who most betrayed our small business owners by allowed this shameful lobby created bill to substitute for the Jobs Survival Act was Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.
She cannot claim “willful ignorance” of not knowing who created this new lobby bill she eagerly switched to sponsor or of being unaware that the CRS bill’s true intent was to keep the status quo for the landlords. She was an early sponsor of the Jobs Survival Act and knew who created it (true small business advocates) and that it would give her local business owners the rights needed to survive when their leases expired. What is so disgraceful of CM Rivera’s actions and indefensible was how unprecedented this lobby created bill blatantly violated both the Council rules and the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution: the right to petition the government for redress of grievances and the Due Process Clause which prohibits arbitrary deprivation of "life, liberty, or property" by the government except as authorized by law.
In late 2018, an arrogant powerful lobby panicked when their scheme to water down the Jobs Survival Act backfired and with 28 sponsors would have easily passed. They took the unprecedented and unethical act of high jacking the role of the Council in creating legislation.* Ignoring and opposing the will of the people, the duty of the Council, and the elected lawmakers with progressive principles, the lobby’s CRS bill and how it was created was the most anti democratic, anti small business and anti immigrant families bill in Council history. CM Rivera had the authority, legal right and moral obligation to stop this reprehensible lobby bill from ever being introduced. But she lacked the progressive values, political will and courage to stand up to the powerful special interests. Instead, she willingly joined in their corruption of democracy at City Hall.
CM Rivera’s favoring special interests and her betrayal of our small business owners, their workers, progressive values and the principles of good government should disqualify her from running for Congress or any public office. In fact, her role played in the conspiracy, collusion and rigging of our government to stop a vote on the Jobs Survival Act, denying economic justice to business owners, and substituting the lobby created CRS bill by openly violating Council rules and the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution should call for a federal investigation and her immediate resignation from office.
We are not endorsing any district 10 candidate but only warning the voters that CM Carlina Rivera’s role in the making of the lobby created CRS bill and the killing of the Jobs Survival Act shows that she is no true progressive nor a friend of small business owners and their workers.
We readily admit we know nothing about her progressive credentials on social issues. But when it concerns small businesses, and especially immigrant owned small businesses, we are the city’s leading authority and Carlina Rivera’s record on addressing our city’s decade long small business crisis is a disgrace and an insult to every hard working business owner.
We can back up our warning of her candidacy with factual credible evidence.
What CM Carlina Rivera does not want the voters to know.
The Backstory: To fully comprehend the betrayal of Carlina Rivera some background is necessary.
The longest political scandal at City Hall, and the most damaging to our economy and society, spans over 12 years. The conspiracy, collusion and rigging of corrupt leadership in partnership with lobbies to protect the profits of real estate speculators and commercial landlords began in Oct 2009.* After a hearing of the Council’s Small Business Committee in June 2009 on the Jobs Survival Act, the entire committee’s members became sponsors of the bill, making 32 sponsors. They selected this bill as the best real solution to stop the closing of our businesses and restore stability to end their crisis.* A week prior to a vote by the committee and easy passage by the full Council, then Speaker Quinn’s Office cooked up a bogus legal roadblock claim to stop the vote. This collusion with the real estate lobby and rigging the system to stop any vote of this bill would continue unchecked until March 24, 2022 when the lobby successfully introduced their own bill, CRS and killed the Jobs Survival Act.
These links detail this decade long conspiracy of the real estate lobby with corrupt lawmakers.* https://www.savenycjobs.com/rebny-rigging-part-ii
In summary, the heavily lobby campaign funded and overly ambitious politicians abdicated to lobbies and power-brokers our city’s economic policy. The very same identities who created our small business crisis in the first place. Lobby influenced hand picked Commissioners, Chairs of Small Business Committee, and members of the SB Committee, orchestrated a charade of worthless programs, useless legislature, and fake studies all pretending to help our small businesses. All touting the importance of our small business while ignoring and covering up the crisis they faced. Their true intent was to never allow the Jobs Survival Act to have an honest hearing and be voted on. To help the lobby succeed with their goals, more BIDS were created and more Chambers and community groups were funded. Even later, lobby supported fake coalitions were formed claiming to represent small businesses. All following only the false narrative of the real estate lobby while pretending to be a sincere voice for small businesses. These lobby shill organizations helped cover up the crisis caused by the unchecked out of control rents and oppressive commercial leases. They also gave political cover to complicit politicians who did absolutely nothing to save even one business or job. The entire government was serving big real estate by denying economic justice to small business owners.
The outcome of this unconscionable and discriminatory policy would lead to the city’s “empty store blight.” Under the lobby controlled administration and City Council the “new norm” in NYC was for long established popular successful businesses to close when their leases expired and the owners had no rights to negotiate reasonable terms that would allow for a reasonable profit. Only the profits of the landlord mattered in NYC for over a decade. The government’s “do nothing” policy to stop the closings of our businesses produced on every main street empty storefronts where once thriving businesses were. The new norm was empty storefronts for sometimes years on prime locations citywide before Covid. Yes, unconscionable and appalling, but true, Mayor de Blasio allowed lobbies to hand pick unqualified and incompetent officers to run agencies mandated to promote small businesses but instead protected and maximized only the profits of a wealthy few. A few wealthy big campaign donors destroying the backbone of our economy and was also the major cause of inflation in NYC and rising property taxes.
The backbone of our city’s economy are multi-generational immigrant families, 64%-68% of our small businesses. For the powerful lobbies and power-brokers running City Hall these families do not matter. These families are expendable “collateral damage” of the hyper real estate speculation taking place in NYC.
Not counting the covid virus crisis period, since the beginning of the corrupt politician’s collusion and rigging for the lobbies, this is the outcome for the little mom and pop merchants.
NYC Courts* issued warrants to evict 56,378 businesses 2010-19
Est. 168K-174K businesses closed without court action
Est 1.3M-1.4M jobs lost
What actions would CM Rivera take to save her districts businesses and jobs from a lobby controlled economic policy that was destroying our small businesses?
CM Rivera became a sponsor of the Jobs Survival Act but never once promoted the bill or called for a vote. She only gave a coached lobby talking point when asked about the bill, “the bill is not a silver bullet and needs to be updated.” She is unaware the bill was updated in late 2008 and it is the only silver bullet to stop the closings of her businesses. She was appointed to be on the Small Business Committee by Speaker Johnson. What is important about her appointment is that this committee had only 5 members and thus she was in the best possible place to be a strong voice for her merchants. Her district, as well as the entire Village region was experiencing sky high rents forcing long established businesses to close in record numbers. She knew the right person, Speaker Johnson, and now was in the right place, SB Committee, and sponsoring the right solution, Jobs Survival Act, to stop the closings and end their crisis. She did nothing while on the SB Committee to promote the Jobs Survival Act or any legislation to stop the closing of businesses.
After nine years, the Jobs Survival Act would finally get a Council hearing in Oct 2018. With the Small Business Committee having only 5 members CM Rivera would be speaking on behalf of not just for her own small businesses but for the women owned businesses as well as the vast majority immigrant family owned in NYC. The hearing would turn out to be the Council’s worse sham hearing ever held. The Democratic leadership gave full control of this hearing to the real estate lobby. This link detail the lobby orchestrated sham hearing that exposed the full corruption of our government.** https://www.savenycjobs.com/call-for-boycott-sham-hearing
Summary: In the past 11 hearings on the Jobs Survival Act the authors of the bill met with the committee to organize the hearing to assure the best voices for the bill spoke early. The new Chairman of the Committee refused to meet with the authors and advocates of the bill the hearing was going to discuss. The real estate lobby would hand pick the so called small business advocates to represent the bill!! For the first time in 30 years the BIDS and Chambers would testify and oppose the Jobs Survival Act. But none of the lobby’s cronies would offer a solution to stop the closings of our business. In the end, for the first time, we had to call for a boycott of the hearing. CM Rivera was SILENT at this critical hearing on the future of her own local businesses and that of all immigrant business owners. She did not even bother to submit written testimony supporting the Jobs Survival Act.
The goal of the lobby was to control the narrative of this hearing in order to stop any call for a vote on the Jobs Survival Act, which had 28 sponsors, and assured easy passage in the face of the “empty store blight”. To accomplish this goal they called upon every pro real estate group in NYC to repeat over and over that the bill must be amended to exclude big Fortune 500 type companies from any protection. In no past 11 hearing on this bill had the Speaker attended or even made a comment. But at this lobby controlled hearing Speaker Johnson showed and testified over twenty times throughout the day that the bill must be amended and moved to a vote. Every lobby hand picked so called advocate supporting the bill would agree that the bill must be amended. The devious scheme of the lobby was to wait until after the hearing to “water down” the bill until it would keep the status quo and then move it quickly to a vote.
Prime sponsor CM Ydanis Rodriguez blows up the lobby’s plot to water down the bill. At the last minute the Jobs Survival Act’s prime sponsor CM Rodriguez, the only one with authority to change the bill, gets cold feet and will not betray the many Dominican merchants.
The real estate lobby was trapped, the amendment to the bill called for at the hearing had no objections from the small business advocates because excluding big corporations, which never would need the bill’s protection, would in no way harm the intent of the bill, giving rights to small business owners when their leases expired. The bill’s change called for by the Speaker would take about 2 hours to make. It would involve changing one paragraph in the scope section of the bill.
There is no honest way to stop a vote on the Jobs Survival Act with its 28 sponsors and the city having an “empty store blight.”
Therefore, the real estate lobby would do the dishonest and illegal way, by creating their own bill that would stop a vote on the Jobs Survival Act and replace it in the new Council. They would blatantly high jack the responsibility of the Council to enact legislation and collude and rig the system with corrupt lawmakers to pull this anti democratic act off.
Lobby’s game plan to destroy the only real lifeline to save our businesses:
The lobby would call upon their loyal cronies to first “stall” the amendment to the Jobs Survival Act and introduce a “basket” of worthless bills* and programs to look and sound like government was taking action to save our businesses. Next, the lobby would secretly collude with Council Members to give them a front for the new lobby’s bill.**
Next, they would use this new bill to stall any vote on the Jobs Survival Act by never calling for a hearing on their lobby bill. In fact never bringing attention to this new bill after a short media blitz announcing it. After stalling, even during the worse crisis for our small businesses caused by the virus crisis, the lobby would finally hold a hearing months before all bills expired on Dec 31, 2021. Another lobby orchestrated sham hearing was cooked up where no mention of the Jobs Survival Act was allowed. The same cast of lobby cronies who attended the 2018 sham hearing would all support this new lobby created bill.
Finally, weeks before the majority of Council Members were termed out of office the new lobby bill would gain 28 sponsors which was the same as the Jobs Survival Act sitting in committee for 3 years without any call for a vote and without the 2 hour amendment ever being made! The final plan would be to get the new prime sponsor of the Jobs Survival Act in the new Council to not reintroduce the bill. Instead, to get a Council Member to become prime sponsor of the new lobby’s CRS bill and introduce it instead of the Jobs Survival Act. After 3 decades of battle, a check mate for the real estate lobby.
In no democratic government in the world could a lobby stop a vote on needed legislation during a crisis, which had the majority lawmaker’s support, and then create their own bill that kept the status quo and crisis intact.
For the lobby to pull this anti democratic act off they needed the full support from the Democratic leadership and lobby loyal Council Members. Council Members they likely funded through their many shill groups.
CM Rivera willingly gave them that support and played a key role in this successful lobby orchestrated high jacking of democracy.
Firstly, the task of stalling the amendment of the Jobs Survival Act was given to Speaker Johnson’s then chief of staff, Erik Bottcher. Every time the media asked him for an update on the amendments he would lie, “we are tweaking the bill or we are fine tuning the bill” after speaking to small business advocates. Total disingenuous, he had no intentions of amending the bill and the so called advocates never owned a business but were only front men to protect Johnson’s shameful actions. In truth these amendments did finally show up but not in the Jobs Survival Act as promised but in the lobby created bill CRS one year after the Oct 2018 hearing. CM Rivera, being both on the SB Committee and in close contact with both Johnson and Bottcher, did nothing to speed the amendment. Why didn’t she push them to make the amendments and move the bill to a vote as promised at the hearing? Didn’t she care if the delay in moving the bill would mean more of her businesses in jeopardy of closing and jobs lost? CM Rivera would be no roadblock to stalling the amendment of the Jobs Survival Act and moving it to a vote.
Secondly, the lobby’s “distraction” of worthless bills and programs that would not save one business or give one right to business owners was carried out by CM Rivera and others. Bills that had nothing to do with the root cause of businesses closing, which was the unfair commercial lease renewal process. She passed her bill, intro 1049,* on 7/23/2019. Her bill would requiring the Dept of Small Business Services to assess the state of storefront businesses. Yes, in the face of a growing small business crisis CM Rivera wants the SBS to count empty stores. She is a sponsor of the Jobs Survival Act which has 28 sponsors, why isn’t she promoting a vote on this vital legislation that would do something to stop the empty stores in the first place?
With the lobby’s collusion and rigging in full swing, CM Rivera drops off the SB Committee. Her merchants are desperate for legislation to save them but she is pulled from the best Committee to gain the legislation her merchants must have to survive. When asked for a comment on why she was taken off the SB Committee she told a Villager reporter that she did not want off and had fought to stay on. Further investigation showed she was not truthful and the committee transcript shows she made no statements to stay on the Small Business Committee. CM Rivera and Speaker Johnson knew something was happening that would make being on the Small Business Committee a problem for ambitious lawmakers. Her act of getting off this vital Committee is a betrayal of her business owners who needed a voice calling for government intervention to survive.
As a sponsor of the Jobs Survival Act, what was CM Rivera’s response to the sudden appearance of this new bill that had the amendments in it that were suppose to have been in the Jobs Survival Act? A bill that did not give the business owners the right to renew their leases. Didn’t she ask the obvious question of “ what good is any bill if the business owners have no right to renew their leases?”
She was sponsoring a bill, Jobs Survival Act, that would give her merchants the right to renew 10 year leases and no longer have to pay their landlord’s property taxes. Why wasn’t Rivera outraged by this obviously inferior bill that would keep the status quo? CM Rivera knew the rules of the Council concerning introducing legislation. Why wasn’t she outraged when this new bill shows up in clear violation of the Council rules of having two bills with the same intent? Who creates a bill while another bill with the same intent, commercial lease renewal process regulations, is waiting to be voted on with 28 sponsors?
CM Rivera made no statement about the new illegal lobby created bill and instead she became a sponsor of it. She never publicly asked the obvious and progressive question,” is the new bill a better solution than the Jobs Survival Act to stop the closing of my merchants and save jobs and restore their futures in my community? Is this new bill a better bill to give my merchants more rights to have a fighting chance to survive, make a reasonable profit and grow to create jobs? One of these two bills has to be better to save her merchants. Why did CM Rivera switch from the good bill to the bad bill for her merchants?
The biggest betrayal of democracy and of our small businesses by CM Rivera happens when all the bills expire on Dec. 31. 2021 and must be reintroduced in the new Council by the bill’s prime sponsor. The Council rules for when a bill’s prime sponsor leaves the Council is that the next remaining Council sponsor of the bill after the prime sponsor has the option of becoming the new prime sponsor if requested. For the Jobs Survival Act the next remaining sponsor in line to become prime sponsor is CM Carlina Rivera!
This means that CM Rivera could legally have requested to become the Jobs Survival Act prime sponsor and reintroduce the bill in the new Council. But she refused!!
Considering the long history of this bill being repeatedly amended, vetted and approved to be introduced and reintroduced many times by the Council’s legal review process, her request to be prime sponsor and reintroduced in the new Council would have easily occurred. And with the new more progressive Council Members the Jobs Survival Act would have easily passed when voted on. After all what true progressive wouldn’t want their local mom and pop business owners to have the right to renew long term 10 year leases and not have to pay their landlord’s growing property taxes? The business owners could raise wages to their workers from the money saved on not paying their landlord’s property taxes. They could again plan for a future.
But CM Rivera made no such request to be prime sponsor and therefore allowed the Jobs Survival Act to die. The new progressive members would never get the chance to save their businesses by giving their owners the rights they need and deserve. Instead, CM Rivera switched to sponsor the lobby created status quo Commercial Rent Stabilization Act.
Any true progressive lawmaker would jump at the opportunity to be prime sponsor of legislation that would be a real lifeline to save the American Dream for our small business owners. Why did CM Rivera not want her merchants to have the right to renew 10 year leases and not have to pay their landlord’s property taxes? Why would she support legislation written by a lobby that gave no right to tenants to renew their leases and have them still paying their landlord’s taxes. Legislation that kept every business owner’s future solely in the hands of their landlords?
Why would CM Rivera support legislation that would allow immigrant owners to continue to be targeted for extortion of cash to remain in business. Or legislation that allowed their landlords to only offer cruel short term leases of sometimes month to month or one/two years. Legislation that turned long term hard working business owners into involuntary servitude to their landlords.
Why would CM Rivera support the CRS that assured the rents will only go up each year from their already destructive insane levels.
What possible benefit could be gained by CM Rivera for betraying her own merchants and all small business owners by switching from a real solution bill to end our small business crisis to a status quo bill keeping the crisis alive?
Is it possible she is so ambitious for higher office that she sold out to special interests?
Our warning to voters that CM Rivera is not a true progressive and not a friend of small business owners is grounded in her clear record of collusion and rigging to benefit a lobby.
CM Rivera’s disrespect and lack of any empathy for the dire plight of our small business owners should disqualify her from holding any office.
Any voter who has respect for our hard working small business owners and appreciates their contribution to the character and spirit of a neighborhood should never vote for CM Rivera. Any voter who demands good government from their elected lawmakers should never vote for CM Rivera. CM Rivera has a record of not standing up to special interests nor fighting, for the rights of business owners and their workers.