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Betrayal of Johnson, a fake progressive opportunist

with no ethics


Johnson using Speakers’ Office to orchestrate a big charade to pawn off a REBNY created bill as a good substitute for the SBJSA.


The City Council has a plan in full motion for a new prime sponsor influenced by the real estate lobby , REBNY, followed by a sham public hearing and quick vote in the near future. After 3 decades, a bill will be passed into law under the disguise of helping and saving small businesses.  The problem for the survival of our small businesses it that Speaker Johnson lied to the public when he allowed the rigging at City Hall by the real estate lobby to continue. After REBNY successfully for 30 years, stopped any legislation regulating their greedy members from passing and blocking any legislation giving the right to renewal commercial leases to the tenants REBNY will NEVER be fair or just if given a major role in creating the bill.


Any bill controlled or written by REBNY will benefit only their wealthy members. Whatever name they call it, or claims a bill will do, the true goal of the law will be to keep the status quo for the landlords in the lease renewal process and not give any rights to the business owners.  The outcome of Johnson’s betrayal for the future of our businesses will be the same; no rights, no future, and a worsening crisis where not a single business or job will be saved.


The real advocates are entitled to the truth.  

In our long 30 year fight to pass legislation giving the right to renewal commercial leases to all commercial tenants, SBC and advocates have always been underdogs.  Every Speaker has had ambitions of becoming Mayor or just power crazed and thus came under the full control of REBNY.  NYC’s government is one party run by corrupt party bosses who have partnered with REBNY to control economic policy and City Hall.  Yet, against all political odds, seven times we were able  to stop a REBNY created legislation as a substitute for our bill.  We were able to do this because we had full control of our bill which was the only real solution to stop the closings of our small businesses, while the REBNY bills gave no rights to renew leases needed by all businesses.  Our bill was written by the business and arts community who knew what was needed in legislation to protect the businesses when their leases expired.


SBC must now speak the truth, for the first time since we created our legislation, we cannot stop a REBNY substitute bill and we have no control over the language of the bill or control over changes to our bill made by REBNY.  There is one lawmaker responsible for using the power of his office to put us in this dire predicament.


At the height of this growing crisis, and the shameful rigging at City Hall,  we were betrayed by the new Speaker Corey Johnson, who is clearly revealing himself to be the most morally corrupt politician, void of any decency and principles.  In our decades long fight we have come across some of the sleaziest and immoral politicians, but Johnson stands out in the “snake pit”  at City Hall  as having the least scruples and integrity of any.  What Johnson did against his own desperate small business owners and the citizens of the Village is unconscionable. 


Corey Johnson is the only Speaker to make the statement, “our small businesses face a crisis and I will find a solution.”  He is also the only one to promise a public hearing on the SBJSA which now we know he knew beforehand would be in the hands of REBNY, because he put in there.   It turns out his pledges mean nothing but disingenuous political rhetoric from a lawmaker bought and paid for by special interests.


The facts :

Before Johnson’s election, Sung Soo Kim wrote an OP ED in the Villager pleading with the new Speaker to break the rigging at City Hall which was stopping any legislation to save our businesses. Kim…”Do not allow the real estate lobby (REBNY) to hand pick the Chairman or its members.” Ever since former Chairman David Yassky committed to passing the SBJSA and Quinn stopped a vote by colluding with REBY to cook up a bogus legal roadblock, REBNY has hand picked every Chair to assure our bill never had a hearing.  Kim made it crystal clear, the future of every business and every neighborhood was in the Speaker’s hands on who he choose as chair . Kim listed several lawmakers who would make a good Chair and hold honest hearings and find a real solution to stop the closings. He also listed several known REBNY cronies who would never pass legislation regulating commercial landlords or who would never allow a bill that gave rights to commercial tenants. 12/28/mom-and-pops-future-is- in-new-speakers-hands/


Who did this fake progressive who completely abandoned his morals and integrity choose?


Who was Johnson’s choice for this critical Chair, one that would hold the future of our small businesses in their hands? Johnson followed the lead of former sellouts Speaker’s Quinn and Mark Viverito in allowing REBNY to again hand pick another pawn they controlled, wealthy real estate owner, Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj.


A choice that is indefensible and an insult to every desperate small business owner and every citizen who believes in good government.  Johnson claims he “is a proud sponsor of the SBJSA,”  but chooses a proud opponent of the SBJSA or any laws regulating landlords. Mark Gjonaj is without debate the most pro landlord in NYC government. He owns his own real estate company and his family is into the real estate industry.  This wealthy real estate owner is a harsh critic of the residential rent regulations regime, calling it a “failed system.” At a debate listen to him speak on the sky high rents forcing 1000 businesses to close each month  and what he would do. (turn up vol on question of high rents)*   The small business crisis question begins 2:35sec and Gjonaj response begins 5:24 thru 6:19.   Gjonaj, “its not just rents but the problem is water and sewer rates!!!Gjonaj is, quite possibly worse than Cornegy,  if that is possible. A wealthy real estate owner who’s on record favoring big real estate policy is well documented. He is on record stating he is opposed to the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and ANY legislation regulating commercial landlords. In fact, he is one of the few democrats in NYC who is also opposed to residential rent regulations!!!


Tenant Pac in Albany on Gjonaj
“He (Gjonaj) is absolutely unwilling to support strong tenant protection, because he is a landlord and his family are landlords. It’s not anything unusual, even though he denies it, but we are not going support a candidate that supports vacancy deregulation,” says Michael McKee, treasurer of TenantsPAC.

He voted no on a bill that would have repealed the 1997 vacancy-deregulation law and re-regulated 98 percent of the apartments that have been lost to rent stabilization.

The Real Estate Association leaders said they had been chipping away at the pro-tenant advantage in the Assembly. The association’s PACs sent donations to Assembly candidates; the biggest recipient was Mark Gjonaj, a real-estate broker and Democrat representing the northwest Bronx.

Gjonaj received huge campaign contributions from the real estate industry in his win. In fact, his race spent the most money of any council race in NYC this past election, the vast majority coming from big real estate.


Second knife in back of mom and pop by Johnson

Johnson refuses to meet with Kim or any real small business advocates


Mr. Kim, while outraged by this shameful choice by Speaker Johnson asked him to allow the Small Business Congress, who wrote the original bill and all other versions and selected 7 past prime sponsors, to at the very least select their own prime sponsor, to fight for the bill. A meeting with the new Speaker was denied as well as our request to select our own prime sponsor. Speaker Johnson, showing his loyalty only to REBNY for all the money they gave him and support to become Speaker, repaid them many times over by giving them our bill, the only hope to end the small business crisis, now into the hands of REBNY, and allow them to make any changes (water down the bill ) which would achieve their members’ goal of keeping the status quo and growing richer. In 30 years of trying and failing REBNY finally got control of our bill, this is the disgraceful legacy of Johnson.   

Johnson fools nobody with his BS talk, " I do not plan to run the City Council “with an iron fist,” and the members of the Council’s Small Business Committee will deliberate for themselves on the measure.” Johnson then appoints a REBNY pawn and stacks the committee and runs and hides to allow them to make their own decisions which he knows will be REBNY’s decisions. Shame 


Sung Soo Kim, Founder


Steven Barrison Esq. , Spokesperson SBC

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