Ten year review of Comptroller Stringers’ record of discrimination against Immigrant Family
Small Business Owners.
Do not believe Comptroller Stringer when he says, “doing a little is doing enough to save our Small Businesses and Jobs.” He has done nothing for over 2 decades to save even one business or one job. His serving only the corrupt party machine and the real estate lobby for his own political career has made the now double
small business crises worse!
Comptroller Scott Stringer just announced that he was running for Mayor in 2021, “ I'll bring leadership back to City Hall.” The hallmark of leadership for lawmakers has always been how effectively, fairly and quickly they address a crisis with the best solution possible. How committed they are to finding the best solution by not allowing the influence of special interests to dictate, while demanding only “honest conversations” to seek the truth. And most importantly, to always only tell the truth to the public, especially in time of crisis.
New Yorker voters do not have to guess Stringers’ leadership qualities in a time of crisis because as a longstanding major lawmaker he has an extensive record on two economic crises, both still relevant today calling for government interventions to find solutions to end them.
Both crises deal with our city’s small business owners, as every politician repeats regularly, without any sincerity, “the backbone of our economy and engines for job creation.” Unfortunately for Stringer, real small business advocates have the details of his record on addressing our small business crises and it does not show positive leadership. In fact, it exposes a career politician serving only corrupt party bosses, a greedy real estate lobby, and big campaign donors. His actions in the face of two growing economic crises, the greatest in our recent city’s history, make clear the despicable truths of Stringer’s career betrayal of democracy and of our city’s desperate small business owners and their employees. Especially atrocious is his apathy for immigrant families losing their American dream and his willful discrimination against desperate, exploited, and abused immigrant family owned small businesses, the largest owners in the city (64-68%). Scott Stringer, in a Democratic leadership role, for over a decade was placed in a leadership role where he could easily resolve a growing small business crisis, and he failed miserably. At no time in his leadership role at City Hall did he feel he had a moral obligation to our desperate small business owners and their employees to stand up to the powerful real estate lobby and find a real solution to save our mom and pop businesses and end their over decade long crisis.
Even with today’s virus crisis, and our small business owners now facing two crises did he feel he had a moral and ethical responsibly to stop the rigging at City Hall and allow “good government” to work and resolve our city’s worse small business crises ever. Scott Stringer’s truly horrific record of betrayal will show his deceitful actions to protect and cover-up for a few wealthy, made our city’s two small business crises worse!!
New York City’s small business owners face the greatest challenge to survive the coronavirus than any businesses in America. Why? Because unlike other small businesses who benefited and profited from a decade of economic recovery and growth, NYC businesses were being ripped off by their landlords. Because they had no voice at City Hall, they were being forced to close in record numbers for over the last decade. The majority of businesses were the victims of the greatest unchecked real estate speculation frenzy of any city in the nation. Rampant speculation and profiteering were encouraged and protected by a corrupt democratic leadership at City Hall. Unethical lawmakers controlled by lobbies who funded their campaigns did nothing for over a decade to protect or save our small businesses or the jobs they created, and today they are still doing nothing to save them.
Our small businesses were being slowly destroyed by a government’s bias trickle down economic policy that produced and protected only the windfall profits for a few wealthy and caused pure chaos for our small businesses. This discriminatory economic policy resulted in NYC small businesses fighting for over a decade to survive due too having the nation’s highest: rents, property taxes, utilities, cost of doing business, shameful illegal extortion of immigrant owners, cruel short term leases, disgraceful turnover new failure rates, and landlord abuses, while they all have no rights to protect their investments or future.
Simply put, unlike other city’s small businesses, NYC’s small businesses were treated as second class citizens who faced two crises to survive, not one. One crisis prior to the coronavirus, was willfully ignored for over a decade and made worse by the collusion at City Hall with big lobbies to rig the system to stop any real solution to save our small businesses, a solution like the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Jobs Survival Act. This bill would give rights to small business owners: rights to renewal a 10 year lease, rights to fairly negotiate with their landlords more reasonable lease terms and rights to arbitration process if mutual agreement could not be reached. This bill, with then 32 sponsors, was selected in 2009 by the Small Business Committee as the best solution to stop the closing of our small businesses and end their crisis, and it still is today!
Desperate small business owners have a right to know those corrupt lawmakers who played a major role in turning their backs on them in their time of crisis, and are still doing it today. Unethical lawmakers who betrayed them by eagerly joining the conspiracy and collusion with a real estate lobby to deny small business owners economic justice and real solutions needed to save them. Even today, facing two crises, those same lawmakers still refuse to even throw them a “lifeline” to give them a fighting chance to survive. New Yorkers who demand good government and love their mom and pop businesses, deserve to know which lawmakers are progressive frauds and act only for their own political ambitions and whose failures and corruption have put in grave jeopardy the future of our economy. They need to know, so they can vote them out of office and prevent an economic catastrophe if our small businesses are not saved now.
Before reviewing Stringer’s leadership record on addressing two economic crises, it is imperative that we review the cause of the first crisis. Why? Because then Manhattan Borough President Stringer played a key role in causing our city’s first small business crisis, which to this day is still unresolved and makes our small businesses, in the face of the virus crisis the most vulnerable to closing in the nation!
The small business crisis started in Manhattan. Unchecked, it has been allowed to spread and grown out of control to every main street in the city. Silent Scott Stringer did nothing.
It is no accident that Scott Stringer has been under the radar for over a decade on the issue of government intervention to finding a solution to stop the closing of our small businesses. Former Mayor Giuliani promoted a Republican Trickle Down Economic policy centered around attracting big business and real estate investing in NYC. At the same time it was Giuliani that empowered landlords by encouraging putting BIDS (property owner organizations) on every main street citywide. The key player needed to make NYC an international leader in real estate investing was the Manhattan Borough President, with influence over community boards, council members, and corrupt party bosses, NYC quickly became the epicenter of real estate investing, welcoming all investing including dirty drug money and laundering money from oligarchy families. Then Borough President Stringer opened Manhattan to the biggest real estate speculation and boom period ever, without any regard to the negative consequences to society, neighborhoods or the local economy. Small businesses’ real problems: sky high rents increases, growing property taxes, illegal extortion of cash by unscrupulous landlords, short term leases of sometimes month to month or one/two years, and cost of doing business accelerated with this unchecked government supported real estate speculation first happening in Manhattan. The negative consequences of this hyper speculation on steroids was known to all public officials, none, including Silent Stringer, did anything to protect small business owners.
Then Manhattan Borough President Stringer played a key role in creating the “perfect storm” that caused the crisis. Years of unchecked/unregulated out of control real estate speculation, big banks competing with big chains for prime locations on main street wrecking havoc on commercial rental markets, BID property owners on main street cashing in with windfall profits, corrupt ambitious lawmakers using their influence to cash in, corrupt borough party bosses using their corrupt lawmaker cronies to also cash in, Chamber board members cashing in and a powerful real estate lobby buying lawmakers and bureaucrats to protect only their wealthy members’ profits, who were all cashing in. With everyone connected with our corrupt government cashing in, our small business owners were cashing out.
With small business owners being marginalized in economic policy, and having no voice at City Hall were fighting to give them rights to protect and save them, as well as being treated as second class citizens; this perfect storm for over a decade has been destroying the greatest small business economy in the world. Yet, to this day, Scott Stringer refused to even admit a crisis existed for Manhattans’ business owners. Scott Stringer as Manhattan Borough President sat on every Manhattan BID board, selected CB Chairs and influenced CB members, played a key role in every development project approval process and yet, Silent Stringer never even attempted once to find a solution to the small business crisis he helped foster.
Scott Stringer’s Real record dealing with a Crisis in NYC!
The largest independent study of NYC immigrant small businesses was announced in February 2009* https://www.savenycjobs.com/latin-chamber-study This legitimate study would show for the first time a growing crisis existed for the city’s immigrant small business owners. 53% were at risk of closing, 69% laid off workers.
This study was relevant because it was exclusively Hispanic owners. Contrary to the myth repeated by lawmakers to hide behind and justify their rigging, that minority African Americans own the majority of businesses, the truth is immigrant families own 64-68% in NYC. The study also exposed the false narrative touted by SBS, BIDS, Chambers and lawmakers that the only real problems of small businesses were: to many fines, too many government regulations and lack of capital, all shamefully still used today by many REBNY loyalist as excuses to distract and do nothing to save a single business or job. The Latin Chamber study spelled out the exact problems facing small businesses as well as the exact reasons for the problems. It did not make any recommendations!! For any lawmaker who really cared about small businesses, this study gave the best and true state of health.
The response from true progressives was made clear by then Small Business Committee Chairman David Yassky before a group of mostly Dominican owners in Upper Manhattan. * utube at announcement of study https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=SF53bxEKKOg&feature=emb_title
April 18, 2009, Forum in Upper Manhattan : Crisis on Main Street, Solutions to Save Hispanic Small Businesses
Small Business Committee Chairperson David Yassky “ The major creators of our jobs, our small businesses are going out of business. That’s what is at stake here, if we don’t keep our small businesses we will not keep those jobs.”
“Franklin 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”.
Looking closely over Yassky’s left shoulder you will see then Councilman de Blasio who spoke later giving his strong support for the Jobs Survival Act he sponsored and proclaiming “the immigrant business owners’ investment deserves to be protected.” Councilman John Liu was there standing up for the immigrant owners who were not being given fair treatment by either the SBS or EDC. What came out of this study for the first time was it exposed the illegal extortion of cash demanded by landlords under the threat of throwing them out of business; a shocking 31% Hispanic owners had been extorted. John Liu would constantly challenge the Bloomberg administration, especially the SBS for not taking the extortion of mostly immigrant owners seriously and not making it a priority to stop. At this announcement of the study in April all the progressive lawmakers called for an immediate hearing to find a solution to address the crisis. A hearing was set for June 29, 2009 to find the best solution to stop the closing and end this crisis.
This is how good government should work. Quickly hold open honest hearings with only one goal, to find the best progressive legislation to end a crisis!
How did then Manhattan President Scott Stringer address this crisis and show his leadership?
Exposing Stringer’s “Bait and Switch” charade.
He did what he has done for the entire small business crisis, even today’s virus crisis, “bait and switch” sham study to justify a real estate lobby influenced recommendation that avoided completely addressing the real problems with real solutions. These fake studies followed with PR campaigns would be Stringers’ MO for all economic issues, a dressed up fake study with no real solution.
On January 29, 2009 Stringer released his report
“Saving the Mom and Pop, ten ways to support small and independent retail stores and keep Manhattan vibrant.”
With the largest independent study just completed, why is Stringer even doing a report? He is doing a report knowing the truth of the Latin Chamber Study would be exposed showing small businesses faced a crisis to survive and he had done nothing to address it. Doing a study would allow him to look and sound like he cares when he obviously doesn’t. A report or study allows him to present a recommendation to supposedly address a problem. Notice the headline starts with Saving the Mom and Pop …… He uses Saving in many of his studies, forums**, and reports etc., but quickly shifts to using words like support, assist, strengthen or help small businesses in his recommendations. Stringer always stops using SAVE when he states his recommendations, because none of the recommendations would actually save a business. He always used the REBNY main talking point of only using retail stores when defining small businesses. This is shameful for the President of Manhattan who oversees the largest number of professional small businesses above the ground floor in the nation. Small businesses that also face the same problems and crisis as the small mom and pop businesses. Stringer, SBS, BIDS, Chambers and other lawmakers discriminate against professional business owners by excluding them in making economic policy. Someone needs to educate Stringer that doctors, accountants, and even lawyers are small businesses entitled to have their problems addressed. He usually ends his fake studies with words like vibrant or thriving when describing the state of our small businesses.
Stringer’s study starts off with Saving Mom and Pop and ends with keeping Manhattan vibrant, clearly double talk. If Manhattan was vibrant why does Stringer need to Save Mom and Pop? In his first three years as Boro President the courts issued warrants to evict 20,859 and over 65K closed with the majority each year from Manhattan.* What is purposely never mentioned by any government agency, BID, Chamber, CB or funded business group is the shameful and disgraceful turnover rate of new businesses replacing long established businesses. The life span of summer fireflies is longer than a new business opening in Manhattan.
*NYC court evictions
Stringer’s signature “Bait and Switch” study.
First the “Bait:- is a flimsy survey with 1,256 questionnaires handed out with 100 returned. Then 18 experts analyze the data to arrive at a report with 10 recommendations. That is 6 surveys for each expert, yes a joke. You likely would not lose a bet if you guessed 17 of the 18 experts were from a lobby. Nor would you likely lose if you’re guessed the final recommendations of a Stringer report was done in a lobby’s office beforehand. What he calls Vital findings, 80% of the businesses in one corridor were small businesses and 15% had been in business for less than two years. A hallmark of a Stringer study is mountains of useless facts not relevant to anything. Now the “Bait” line, rents borough wide had doubled from last lease and half doubtful they’ll be able to afford their next lease.” The half matched the Latin Chamber legitimate study with 53% at risk of closing. Now the “Switch” which is the real reason for doing the study in the first place. List several recommendations that have absolutely nothing to do with high rents or saving small businesses, another Stringer hallmark in his studies. Recommendations likely cooked up by the real estate lobby to keep the status quo. Stringer in his entire career NEVER once recommended giving small business owners any rights when their leases expired. His major campaign donors would never allow this. Never even as the crisis has grown destroying our small businesses has he even mentioned the Jobs Survival Act, not once!
Stringer’s recommendations come right out of REBNY’s playbook. Another hallmark to this day of a Stringer study. How ridiculous are his recommendations to save mom and pop? Number one: survey all small businesses in the city every four years so hard data could be obtained for the future. Assume he does not mean the future of small businesses because they have no future in NYC. For those following the small business crisis and feel Stringer’s recommendation sounds familiar, it is because Speaker Johnson used the same REBNY talking points after the Oct 2018 hearing on the Jobs Survival Act! Johnson, “we need hard data to act upon.” Councilwoman Rivera enacted a law after the hearing on the Jobs Survival Act to “do an assessment of several main streets (count empty stores) every 3 years and write a report on the state of the stores.” None of the recommendations would save a single business or job, another hallmark of Stringer recommendations. Each recommendation was more insulting to the desperate small business owner who needed real solutions not worthless proposals like “we’ve got to do more micro-lending”. Counting empty storefronts is not leadership. While they are counting more businesses are closing every day! Preventing businesses from closing in the first place is leadership.
What Stringer did with his study to counter the Latin Chamber Small Business Study and promote worthless recommendations is called rigging for a lobby. In the past 6 expose* I have incorrectly stated that the rigging to deny economic justice to small businesses by stopping a vote on the Jobs Survival Act began with the scheming and collusion of former Speaker Quinn with the real estate lobby to cook up a bogus legal roadblock to stop a vote on the certain to easily pass Jobs Survival Act. I stand corrected, the rigging to stop any law giving rights to desperate small business owners fighting to survive was started by then Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Scott Stringer gets a second opportunity to show his leadership in dealing with a crisis.
A hearing was held on June 29, 2009 with one goal, then Chairman Yassky, “I will say simply as an opening statement that I believe that we absolutely have to do something, period. 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…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.” In the end, the committee fulfilled its oversight responsibility by selecting the Jobs Survival Act as the best solution to stop the business closings and the entire committee became sponsors of the bill making 32 sponsors.
At this public platform what was Borough President Stringer’s contribution on a solution to this crisis? With Manhattan having the highest number of business closings in the city, total havoc in the commercial rent market where mom and pop had no chance to get fair rents or reasonable lease renewal terms and the majority of small businesses facing a full blown crisis, Scott Stringer was a no show at the hearing, not even having a statement read on his behalf. This also would be another hallmark of Stringer, avoid hotly debated public hearings and make no comments until after the hearings, then throwing out a “smoke and mirror” fake study.
What stands out most by Stringer's lack of leadership in this crisis is his lack of basic decency.
The Faust Triplet Brothers:
de Blasio, Johnson and Stringer
Sold their souls to a real estate lobby and every small business owner has paid the price of having to fight to save their American Dream, with many losing the battle and closing.
6 part expose
* PART I – NO LIFE LINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Part VI Corrupt Lawmakers | savenycjobs
Sung Soo Kim is called the “Godfather of Immigrant Small Business” due to his founding the Korean American Small Business Service Center; co-founding the New York City Small Business Congress and Coalition to Save New York City Small Businesses; creating the Small Business Bill of Rights given to elected officials since 1993; and his chairmanship of the Small Business Advisory Board, appointed by Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani. He spent every day for over 35 years serving and fighting for the rights of immigrant small business owners.