Background facts relevant to show decade long mockery of democracy at City Hall :
Mark Viverito played major role in rigging for real estate lobby.
Oct, 2008 The trigger for the decade long debate on the Jobs Survival Act was a meeting held at Jetro Food Distributors in the Bronx in Oct. 2008. The former Chairman of the Small Business Committee David Yassky went to Jetro (warehouse catering to the mostly Hispanic bodega owners to pick up goods and supplies) to meet bodega owners. After he detailed the many programs offered by SBS to help small businesses he opened the floor for questions. The owners (predominately Dominicans) were angry and told Yassky of being extorted of life’s savings under threat of being thrown out of business, given short month to month or one year leases, rent gouged, and forced to pay their landlord’s property taxes. Yassky was shocked because this was not the picture SBS had given his committee of the state of our small businesses. It was at this meeting that a new Hispanic Chamber founder, Miguel Peribanez was asked by Yassky to do an independent study of all types of Hispanic businesses, and to include a question on extortion. This was after the store owners were asked to show hands of anyone who had been extorted and 80% of hands were raised.
From his own pocket, Peribanez paid to have a detailed study done with only the business owners answering the questions face to face in confidentiality. The study was the largest ever of immigrant owned businesses (Hispanic) and clearly showed a crisis existed.
USA Latin Chamber of Commerce NYC Hispanic Small Business Survey
53% businesses at risk of closing
69% forced to lay off workers
92% stopped hiring
31% had been illegally extorted by landlord
86% stopped all planned expansion
Number one reason given for every problem, RENTS to High!
A group of Hispanic merchant organizations met with then SBS Commissioner Walsh to present the findings but Walsh refused to discuss the findings. To this day the SBS will not discuss this report. Why? Because it exposed the cover-up of the crisis by the SBS to protect the windfall profits of the property owners who run the BIDS and to continue the economic policy of EDC to encourage real estate development in NYC.
At the recent hearing in 2018 on Jobs Survival Act the SBS Commissioner Bishop continued the cover-up policy by opposing any legislation giving rights to commercial tenants.
April 19, 2009 Washington Heights Colligate Church Forum
” Crisis on Main Street”
Solutions to Save Hispanic Small Businesses.
The results of Hispanic Small Business survey were announced and for the first time
in over 20 years an elected official announced publicly, a crisis existed for small businesses in NYC. Then, Small Business Chair David Yassky’s statement, “ranklin Roosevelt, when he was President said, try something, if it does not work, try something else. But you have to try something. The one thing we cannot do in the face of this Crisis is nothing”. Which is exactly what City Hall did for the next decade, NOTHING even as the crisis worsened. Today we are hearing more and more from politicians the word crisis to describe the state of our small businesses and the empty storefronts on every block. Yet, this crisis is not new and was allowed to grow worse for a full decade, including four years 2014-17 under Mark Viverito’s watch and unlike Yassky’s pledge to take action, she did nothing to save a single store or job. From the recent testimony of SBS Commissioner Bishop, a decade of 500 court evictions each month of businesses and an estimated 1,200 stores close each month with empty stores on every block and SBS still does not recognize an existing crisis and is still trying to cover the crisis up with phony studies and fake initiatives.
From the public recognition of the crisis on April 19th until June 29th when a hearing was held to find a solution, a little over 2 months passed. Under the Speakership of Mark-Viverito NO hearing was held in 4 years! In fact, she is the only Speaker in 30 years to NEVER hold a hearing on the bill or call for a hearing to find a real solution to save a single business or job!
Melissa Mark-Viverito’s record on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. Her role in finding a solution to stop the closing of small businesses.
June 29, 2009 Public Hearing
testimony on Jobs Survival Act: Mark Viverito testimony page 99
Former Small Business Committee Chairperson David Yassky: Opening remarks
“I will say simply as an opening statement that I believe that we absolutely have to do something, period. We have to do something to help small businesses … through this unbelievably difficult time that they are facing. It's not an option to do nothing. The mom and pop stores on the commercial strips in our neighborhoods are the heart of the neighborhood. We cannot allow them to be pushed to the point of disappearance, which is what is happening now…. I know that the administration has raised issues and raised concerns about it (Jobs Survival Act) with the Council. If it's not going to be this bill, then I want to hear what the alternative is for how we're going to help small businesses in this difficult time. The one thing I just want to put right up front with the administration witnesses here is we have to have some solutions to offer.”
Good government in action not controlled by a lobby:
A strong leader as Chairman committed to his oversight responsibility to address the real problems of small business owners with real solutions. Yassky made clear to the administration, “ I want a solution to stop the closings and end this crisis, there is no option to do nothing.”
REBNY would use its influence over the Speakers’ Office to never again allow an independent Small Business Committee Chairman like Yassky, who would stand up for small business owners in NYC.
COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS June 29, 2009 hearing
COUNCIL MEMBER MARK-VIVERITO:
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to thank all of those that have testified. I'm very proud of the fact that we're having a hearing on this legislation. I'm very proud of the fact that Robert Jackson has introduced this. I've signed on as a sponsor, as many of us here have. I'm not on this committee but I felt compelled to come
because I really this it is an important proposal. We obviously have intent on passing this. We're going to be very firm and very strong. As a Council we have a
responsibility to represent all sectors in this city and not just a select few, which I believe is what has happened with this administration. We are here to also represent the tenants, to represent the small business owners and to do what
we can to preserve this vital backbone in this city.
Hearing ends with all members of committee selecting the Jobs Survival Act as the best solution to stop the closings and end the crisis. All members became sponsors of the bill, making 32 sponsors including then councilwoman Mark Viverito, the bill is ready to be voted on and easily pass and immediately stop the closings.
What also came out of this hearing was the awareness that mostly immigrant owners were being targeted for illegal extortion of cash from unscrupulous landlords. Then Councilman John Liu called out SBS for not taking extortion as a serious problem. The Hispanic study showed 31% owners had been extorted. Every lawmaker, including Mark Viverito, at the hearing heard testimony from many small business groups of this growing extortion problem. A decade later, nothing has been done to stop this immoral act.
Another outcome of the hearing concerned the legality of the bill. The real estate lobby did not present any legal challenges to the bill, none. In fact, Sherri Donovan, Esq. ,the attorney who wrote the bill 25 years earlier, and defended it’s legality at several hearings before the Council, and who was responsible for all the seven changes made to the bill over the years, including the recent amendments made, was present to answer any questions concerning the constitutionality of the bill. There were neither questions nor comments made on any legal concerns of the bill at this hearing! Nor did any representative of the real estate industry or of the City Council Legislative Division and the Office of the General Counsel give testimony at this hearing, or submit in writing any concerns about the legality of the bill. Again, all lawmakers present were aware that the bill was the most legally scrutinized bill in council history and found totally constitutional. * Donovan testimony
*June29, 2009 testimony by the bill’s attorney
SHERRI DONOVAN: “Good afternoon, Council. “My name is Sherri Donovan. I am the original drafter of the bill over 20 years ago. I worked with Ruth Messinger at the time. I've followed this bill for over 20 years. I've heard all the legal arguments from the city about trying to stop this bill. This is not new. I've heard them mention home rule. I've heard them mention constitutionality. I've heard them mention interference with property rights. I've researched the cases. I've done the briefs years ago on this issue and updated it as of today. This bill is completely constitutional. This bill is completely reasonable. There is not a legal challenge that would be upheld in the courts on this bill. You do not need to be afraid of the real estate developers and their lawyers to pass this bill.”
The hearing on June 29, 2009 was the last time the small business owners received justice or fair treatment at City Hall and the last time lawmakers sought a solution to save small businesses!
October 2009- Prime sponsor Council Member Jackson requested a vote out of the Small Business Committee on his bill, Int 0847, which was expected to unanimously pass. At that time, and for the first time, the City Council’s legal department expressed, in private and using only vague language without a scintilla of or point evidence of the alleged claim, concerns on the constitutionality of the bill and whether the bill would stand up to a court challenge. These legal unsubstantiated vague concerns would prevent a vote on the bill and would be used as an excuse and to give political cover for the next decade to deny a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival bill.
This bogus legal roadblock cooked up by the collusion of the real estate lobby and then Speaker Quinn’s Office was the most anti-democratic and anti-immigrant act ever committed in recent council history. It was the beginning of the rigging to stop any vote on legislation that gave rights to commercial tenants when their leases expire. It went against good government oversight and was a disgraceful act that would wreck havoc upon the small business community for the next decade. It would make a crisis grow worse and spread to every main street in the city destroying the American Dream for tens of thousands of mom and pop businesses and change the character of every neighborhood in the city.
For the next four years the full power of the Speaker’s office was used to stop any hearings on the Jobs Survival Act. At the same time was working in collaboration with SBS and the administration to cook up countless worthless initiatives and programs that claimed to help small businesses but in reality were fake programs to cover up the crisis and keep the status quo. The only concern for jobs by the Speaker’s office were the future high paying private sector jobs as lobbyist, political consultants or working for developers that the Speaker’s staff would seek.
Jan 2014 When Melissa Mark Viverito became speaker in 2014 she did nothing to stop this shameful rigging. She permitted the Speaker’s Office to continue to be used by a lobby to stop legislation that would give rights to stop the closings of businesses when their leases expired and end the small business crisis.
She would continue to allow a bogus legal roadblock, ( the Jobs Survival Act had “legal issues”) a knowing LIE, to stand unchallenged and unsubstantiated, to be used by lawmakers loyal to REBNY, as the primary reason for not supporting the legislation and the only justification to not allow a hearing on the bill!
Exposing the big LIE that denied small business owners justice at City Hall and used by then Speaker Mark Viverito’s office to stop any solution to save small businesses and jobs.
November 12, 2010 , to gain a fair legal review of the Jobs Survival Act which was being denied by the Speaker’s Office, a request was made to Bronx President Ruben Diaz to hold a Legal Review Forum. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) hosted a special “Legal Review Forum” on the Small Business Survival Act, City Council Int. 0154-2010, to evaluate the legal arguments and the supportive case law dealing with the constitutionality of the proposed law. The Speaker’s Office and REBNY were sent a special invitation to attend this Legal Review Forum, and to publicly present their legal arguments against the bill’s legal concerns. Again, they refused to make any public statement or present any legal facts, even in writing, to support their legal challenges to the bill.* https://www.savenycjobs.com/legal-facts-expose-bogus-legal-road
Click on exhibit G for Legal Review invite to Speaker and press release of legal review
Nov. 12, 2010 a Legal Review Forum was held at the Bronx Courthouse. The most compelling testimony given, other than the detailed case law of NYS and Supreme Court rulings by Attorney Sherri Donovan, came from the attorney who was to appeal the Ross decision in 1987. Professor Myron Moskozitz, by conference call, gave testimony on his views of the constitutionality of the Jobs Survival Act and made legal comments on the Ross v. City of Berkeley court decision, which was the bases for the legal claims by the Speakers Legal dept. His testimony confirmed all of the legal arguments made by Attorney Sherri Donovan.
In Dec. 2010 , The Legal Review Panel released a Final Report:
The Small Business Survival Act, as it is presently written, is fully constitutional and legally sound to withstand likely court challenges. The legal assessment of the Small Business Survival Act by the Legislative Division and The Office of the General Counsel, “that the bill is vulnerable to the legal challenges”, is an inaccurate legal assessment of the bill due to an excess reliance upon a deficient evaluation of a single court decision handed down in 1987 in another state, California. No section of the Small Business Survival Act is found to be “vulnerable” enough to rise to the level in a court challenge to cause the bill to be found unconstitutional.
NO response from either General Counsel or REBNY attorneys! *
Exhibit H- Complete Final Report
At the recent Oct 22, 2018 hearing on the bill,
Testimony of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
RE: Intro No. 737-A/Small Business Jobs Survival Act
One of the key issues that has risen around the SBJSA is its legality. However, this point has been much debated and answered. In 2010, my office convened a legal summit surrounding this legislation, which was then known as the Small Business Survival Act, in partnership with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and other organizations. The report of that panel found that “The Small Business Survival Act is fully constitutional and legally sound to withstand likely court challenges.” Regardless, such a matter can be decided by the courts. We should not allow a hypothetical legal challenge to block critical legislation.
The Jobs Survival Act is the most legally scrutinized legislation in council history!*
When a newspaper,Villager, for their many years series on “saving small businesses” kept receiving no comment or no response to its many questions to lawmakers on the legality of the Jobs Survival Act, including to show proof of the bill’s legal problems they claimed, the paper did a fact check and a call for politicians to stop their BS.
Even with the city’s small businesses being destroyed and our main streets turned into depression looking blights, this shameful lie to stop any solution to save mom and pop stores is still being touted by politicians as an excuse to DO NOTHING.
Jan 6, 2019 At a recent PA forum in the Village, a question was asked of Mark Viverito by the audience. As an agent of change, why didn’t you allow the SBJSA to come for a hearing when you promised the editor of the Villager you would? Mark Viverito answer, I was advised by my legal council that the bill had constitutional issues with it. Response, “ if the same legal council is at the Speaker’s office why then did Speaker Johnson hold a hearing on the SBJSA which is word for word the same bill? No response. A shameful answer for a candidate wanting to show leadership and trust. The hallmark of leadership for lawmakers has always been how one addresses a crisis. How they put their own self interests aside and reject special interests demands and instead, to quickly, fairly, effectively and humanely resolve the crisis. Mark Viverito’s record of addressing the small business crisis is a disgrace. As Speaker she purposely let stand a BIG LIE, for all REBNY loyalist to hide behind as an excuse: to not address the crisis, to not find a solution to stop the closings, to not serve the will of the people, to not keep their progressive pledges, and as an insult to democracy and struggling small business owners.
Opportunity to save immigrant businesses and restore the
As the new Speaker, Mark Viverito had the opportunity to select a Small Business Committee Chairperson who would reflect the majority of small business owners
and be committed only to addressing their problems and needs. An independent Chair who would make a priority to immediately hold a hearing to find a solution to stop the closings. Instead, she abdicated the oversight responsibility of the small business committee to a lobby. The majority of small businesses are immigrant owned with Hispanics owners being the largest number of immigrant businesses in NYC. Sung Soo Kim, recognized as the Godfather of Immigrant Small Businesses, founded the oldest and largest immigrant small business center in NYC serving 17,000 businesses at its peak. He estimates the percent of immigrant owned businesses in NYC at 64% to 68% .
Therefore, the rational choice for new Small Business Committee Chairman should be a Hispanic councilmember. REBNY’s choice as Chairman was Robert Cornegy, an African American who came from a government policy department who was against any hearings on the Jobs Survival Act and against exposing the truth on the legal claims against the bill. The worst possible choice for the future of small businesses but the best choice for REBNY’s wealthy members.
Corney became chair with no intentions to take any actions to save a single business and he achieved his goal which was REBNY’s goal.
In the face of a growing crisis and injustice against small business owners, Mark Viverito allowed the worst choice possible. To make matters worse for small business owners she allowed a lobby to stack the committee with lawmakers loyal to them. Even though the Bronx’s economy is driven by small business owners who are the largest employers of Bronx residents, and the real estate speculation had spread to the Bronx causing increased business failures, Speaker Mark Viverito, who represents part of the Bronx had NO Bronx member on the small business committee for her full term!! Of the nine member committee, Queens dominated with 5 members and every boro was represented but not the Bronx.
2012 In 2012 when then prime sponsor Councilwoman Margaret Chin asked Legislative Director for recommendations to satisfy the legal concerns they refused to respond. * letter to Legal https://www.savenycjobs.com/legal-facts-expose-bogus-legal-road Exhibit B,C and E after Report two Memos from Legal and Legislative recommending amendments to the bill which both then prime sponsors Messinger and Linares responded to their requests by changing the bill. Exhibit E- Last page is letter Chin wrote to Legislative Director asking for amendments to resolve Legal issues.
Betrayal of Democracy
Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark Viverito remained silent on the crisis as big real estate was destroying our city’s small businesses, arts, jobs, and the character of our neighborhoods. With empty stores on every main street increasing, a substitute bill was cooked up to give political cover for lawmakers who had done nothing to save a business or job their entire term in office.
July 24, 2014 Gotham Gazette titled “ City’s Small Business Crisis Continues” by Jillian Jonas. First statements of many over the next 3 years by Chairman Cornegy showing he is aware of small business closings and he is writing a bill with Borough President Brewer that will address the high rents forcing businesses to close. He never wrote any bill and keep this phony promise going until 2017.*
Jan. 22, 2015 Cornegy delivers for REBNY by introducing a resolution ( 541)*
This resolution is a disgrace and shows how big a puppet Cornegy was for REBNY.
It calls for Albany to pass legislation giving tax credits to landlords who do not rent gouge their commercial tenants, and it voluntary! Later, Speaker Mark Viverito would join Cornegy in promoting this REBNY proposal.
March 2015 Pressure from public to do something to stop the closings
Both papers ( Our Town and Villager) do series on Saving Small Businesses
Villager hold Forum , “Solutions to Save Small Businesses”
Our Town holds Forum, Saving Small Businesses.
Editorial supporting Jobs Survival Act:
March 14, 2015 Long awaited Gale Brewer Study touted as solution to save small businesses and would be foundation for Cornegy legislation.
For Immediate Release: Monday, Mar. 23, 2015
Please Contact: Andrew Goldston |
NEW YORK – This morning, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer unveiled proposals to help ease the path to survival of New York City small businesses. Brewer said. “The city can—and must—do more to help small businesses survive.
Brewer throws lifeline to mom-and-pop shops
Manhattan BP Gale Brewer Unveils Plan to Save Small Businesses in https://town-village.com/2015/03/26/brewer-throws-lifeline-to-mom-and-pop-shops/
Posted On Tue, March 24, 2015 By Dana Schulz
Yesterday, standing inside the Upper West Side’s Halal Guys restaurant, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer unveiled her “Small Business Big Impact: Opportunity for Manhattan Storefronts” report (PDF), which outlines ideas to help small businesses survive and thrive in a city where even Starbucks can’t afford the rents. The borough president and Councilman Robert Cornegy, chair of the small business committee, are drafting a proposed bill that would enforce the plan.
Editorial: A Small Biz Breakthrough
Published Apr 2, 2015 at 10:04 am (Updated Mar 31, 2015)
Borough President Gale Brewer -- a champion of the city’s local storefronts -- has come forward with a proposal that could break the logjam between businesses squeezed by rising rents and landlords looking to cash in on a red-hot retail market.
Brewer Study in reality was a big sham and charade by lawmakers to join in the rigging to keep the status quo which was destroying
Fake study in collusion with de Blasio administration to give appearance of wanting to find a real solution. Mostly SBS, BIDS, Chambers and funded community groups, and landlords. Twenty four supposed contributors but listed Sung Soo Kim and Ramon Murphy who both said they did not know anything about the study. No one in the study represented small business owners’ rights and needs.
Followed with a real dog and pony show for REBNY, with lawmakers going around to “workshops/roundtables” to explain the study and gain insight from small business owners, community groups, landlords, BIDS, Chambers, and just anyone opposed to the Jobs Survival Act was invited.
Manhattan President Gale Brewer notice:
Our Fight for Small Business "Storefronters" in Full Swing.
Our Storefronters campaign to help preserve Manhattan small businesses is in full swing on the heels of our Small Business, Big Impact report this spring.
Two small business roundtables will be held this month, one in Hell’s Kitchen on July 8 and another in the West Village on July 14, giving each neighborhood’s small business owners, community stakeholders, Community Board members, and small business agencies the chance to discuss problems and brainstorm solutions.
My staff is also taking our show on the road, speaking to Business Improvement Districts, non-profits, and other civic groups throughout the borough about our proposals,
Low point for Speaker Mark Viverito’s legacy !!
The Speaker was enthusiastically supporting and participating in these “roundtables” and giving Cornegy and Brewer’s “ life line,” the proposed substitute bill credibility and likely assuring easy passage in her council. Was Speaker Mark Viverito finally using her office to take action to stop the closings and end the crisis. NO, she was continuing what former Speaker Quinn had started, using the Speaker’s office to rig the system for a lobby.
The proposed bill being written by Cornegy and touted by Brewer and the Speaker was a fraud and an insult to democracy and the desperate small business owners. It was
“word for word” written by REBNY 30 years ago for the infamous “Limousine Commission” set up by former Mayor Koch and Speaker Vallone to stop the original Jobs Survival Act introduced by then councilwoman Ruth Messinger. This commission was a disgrace to good government and called the Limousine Commission because its hand picked members arrived to meetings in limousines. It was comprised of bank presidents, a founder of a Wall Street Firm, and Real estate owners etc. Brewer’s recommendation was REBNY’s recommendation which was rejected by all business groups 30 years ago who called it the Landlord’s Bill. Back then it was DOA and no lawmaker at that time would introduce it .
Small Business Retail Study Commission
Page 1-8 Final Report
Policy Options and Recommendations
The Recommended Options in Brief. The Commission focused on six options, two of which here labeled Lease Extensions and Supply Expansion are recommended by the majority.
The Lease Extension option included a requirement of negotiation and non-binding mediation in cases of landlord-tenant dispute over lease renewal. Where negotiations fail for any reason, the tenant would be entitled to a one year lease extension with a 15% percent rent increase.
One man stopped this rigged shameful bill from being introduced. Sung Soo Kim, as an original drafter of the Jobs Survival Act was outraged by the commission’s recommendation 30 years ago and fought to kill it. When he read Brewer’s recommendation and saw it was the same “word for word” he spoke out with Op Eds which Brewer responded too by not defending the REBNY created bill but by attacking the Jobs Survival Act with false statements like the bill was unconstitutional, could never be passes, and collecting dust for 30 years.
Kim was dealing with the truth while Brewer and Cornegy were failing to defend a bill that gave no rights to small business owners and would keep the status quo of store closings and allow the crisis to grow worse. In the end Kim’s honesty won out over the dishonest rigging by Brewer, Cornegy, de Blasio and Speaker Mark Viverito as they dropped their substitute bill plan.
Would the only real solution to stop the closings finally get a hearing under Speaker Mark Viverito?
No, a new REBNY game plan to continue the rigging was put in play at City Hall. Stall until a new prime sponsor would water down the bill to take away the business owners rights and keep the status quo.
May 2015 Speaker Mark Viverito was in the Village doing a walking tour after the East Village gas explosion. The editor of the Villager, Lincoln Anderson who had been writing a series on saving small businesses for years asked her where she stood on the crisis of closing businesses and if she was going to allow a hearing and vote on the Jobs Survival Act. She answered with political double talk that the council was following a process and once the staff did their overview would move next to a hearing. She was aware of claims made by Quinn and de Blasio that the bill had legal problems but she needed to study the issue more etc. A promise was made that a hearing would happen with all sides and alternative proposals heard. Not the words or actions of a leader dealing with a crisis situation. The Speaker was completely insincere in her response to the Villager editor. Not the same commitment she testified to at the June 2009 hearing on the Jobs Survival Act, “ I'm very proud of the fact that we're having a hearing on this legislation… I've signed on as a sponsor, as many of us here have.. We obviously have intent on passing this. We're going to be very firm and very strong. As a Council we have a responsibility to represent all sectors in this city and not just a select few, ….We are here to also represent the tenants, to represent the small business owners and to do what we can to preserve this vital backbone in this city.”
Mark Viverito’s usual response to questions about store closings, empty stores, hearing or the Jobs Survival Act was NO RESPONSE.
March 14, 2016 Stores closing every month in Village and Villager editor emails*
Speaker Mark Viverito to find out when the promised hearing would happen.
* Mar 14, 2016 at 4:10 PM
Lincoln Anderson @thevillager.com
Hi, I am following up on the Speaker's statement to our newspaper, The Villager, this past June, that she planned to hold a hearing in the Council on small businesses -- how to help keep them from going under, the lease-renewal process, etc. -- and that the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA) would be part of that hearing. Will there still be a hearing on small business in the Council as the Speaker indicated there would be? If so, can you give us some sort of ballpark date on when that will be?
This week we will an article in The Villager on how the landlord of an affordable grocery store serving Chelsea and The Village -- The Associated market at 14th St. near 8th Ave. -- is being hit with a rent increase that is triple what it's paying now. The market won't be able to stay. CM Corey Johnson led a rally there this past weekend with other pols, including Letitia James, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Gale Brewer, among others. Everyone hopes the market will stay, but I'm not sure any real solutions were offered -- in this particular case or for the whole issue citywide.
In short, the rent increase this supermarket is facing is emblematic of the problem many small businesses -- and even larger ones, like supermarkets -- are facing in an NYC economy that is becoming ever-more and more high-end. If people can't buy affordable food, how can they continue to live in and enjoy their neighborhoods?
So, again, The Villager is asking: Will the Speaker hold a hearing to consider some potential ways to address this issue -- one of them being the Small Business Jobs Survival Act?
My deadline is the end of tomorrow, Tues., March 15.
Editor in Chief
The Villager and East Villager
Foil of Speaker shows her staff sending the Villager request around to discuss a response. In the end, they decide NO RESPONSE because the Speaker and staff had no intention of holding a hearing on the Jobs Survival Act.
Final Betrayal of Democracy by Speaker Mark Viverito
End with REBNY agenda!
As the point person for REBNY rigging to stop any legislation to give rights to small business owners, Mark Viverito used her authority and office to put into motion a policy of stalling and covering up the crisis.
With the assistance of de Blasio’s pro real estate team, and REBNY puppet Cornegy, a new policy was presented by the Speaker which like all other initiatives or programs gave no rights to commercial business owners when their leases expired nor addressed any serious problem faced by the mom and pop owners like sky high rents, extortion, short term leases or paying landlords’ taxes. A program that completely ignored the growing crisis!
This new plan would not save a single small business or job nor would it slow down the out of control growing crisis that exist in NYC. The result was distractions and political double talk only.
NYC Council's Plan for Retail Diversity was in reality a REBNY plan to keep the status quo! Do everything except give rights to business owners. More worthless failed initiatives that stores don’t want or need. Explore tools for promoting retail businesses, but not saving them. Mark Viverito took pride in a September of 2016, Council hearing on zoning and incentives for promoting retail diversity and preserving neighborhood character at which we heard concerns and proposals from a wide variety of advocates including chambers of commerce, community-based organizations, trade associations, business improvements districts, elected oﬃcials, and small business owners. She should be ashamed of this hearing because it was a sham hearing orchestrated to promote REBNY’s agenda to substitute worthless initiates for the Jobs Survival Act, more distractions and delay. In fact, when advocates for the Jobs Survival Act attended to testify, the Chair told them they could not mention or discuss the Jobs Survival Act at this hearing. Shame!
Speaker’s last actions were not to find a solution to stop the closing of small business or save jobs. Instead, her actions were to continue the rigging with worthless proposals that dealt only with fake promotion of small businesses and not saving them. Substituting more Studies for Solutions would not address the crisis.
During her final weeks as City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito has made it her business to provide a bevy of retail-boosting proposals for the next round of councilmembers to consider. What happened to Mark Viverito claim to be a great solver of problems? What she is really saying , “let the next Speaker deal with this crisis.”
Mark-Viverito pledged in her 2016 State of the City Address to study how land-use policies and tax incentives could strengthen small businesses, particularly those struggling to keep up with rising rents and those displaced as storefront after storefront become vacant, REBNY talking points.
Speakers last act in rigging for real estate