New York Rent Control Advocates Camp Out Near Capitol

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Keith Wright addresses a crowd of rent control advocates in the Capitol last week. He also stopped by Academy Park in Albany Monday night to meet with protesters who traveled from New York City to urge passage of tougher rent control laws. Photo by The Legislative Gazette.

Protesters in support of stronger protections for renters slept in Academy Park in Albany last night with only pillows and sleeping bags. They are planning a protest in the Capitol Tuesday as lawmakers return to Albany to finish the legislative session.

Rent regulations remains one of the last major issues to address before lawmakers can return to their districts for the summer.

There were about 15 protesters from different organizations including NYC Communities and Real Rent sleeping in the park. While there, at least two Assembly members came to the park to show support and chat with the protesters.

Assemblyman Keith Wright, D-Manhattan, and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, D-Manhattan, both stopped by the park last night and visited with the protesters. Wright said at a press conference last week that he will fight for stronger rent laws as long as it takes.

The legislative session has already been extended a week with rent laws being one of the prime issues still needing to be resolved.

Zachary Lerner, an organizer of NYC Communities, slept in Academy Park Monday night with fellow protesters and stayed there until they were rained out just before 10 a.m. Tuesday.

He said they were there to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get rid of vacancy decontrol, major capital improvements, and other means landlords can use to raise the rent for tenants. “We need to save the 2.2 million rent stabilized apartments in New York City,” he said.

Another protester, Celia Weaver, said the group will be at a tenant rally in the War Room at 11:30 a.m. today. She said to expect more protesters, since there are two full 55-passenger buses driving to Albany from New York City to attend the rally.