In recent months, Airbnb and an organization calling itself “Peers” have started a major PR and lobbying campaign to overturn New York’s laws governing short-term rentals. With these businesses and groups circulating misinformation to residents, their own users, and the media, it’s important that we all know what the law is, why it’s important, and what our rights are. Please read on to learn more!
Joined by a broad spectrum of drug law reform advocates and fellow elected officials, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) announced that she will be introducing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) today. The legislation would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana under state law along lines similar to the state’s current system regulating alcohol, and would represent a new approach for New York State after decades of costly, counterproductive policies that have produced racially discriminatory outcomes.
“Prohibition of marijuana is a policy that just hasn’t worked, no matter how you look at it, and it’s time to have an honest conversation about what we should do next,” said Sen. Krueger. “The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals, creating a vicious cycle that ruins lives and needlessly wastes taxpayer dollars. Worst of all, this system has resulted in a civil rights disaster: African Americans are dramatically more likely to be arrested for pot possession than whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use among both groups.”
Liz’s Neighborhood Update for Fall of 2013 is available on this page! It includes updates and information on a variety of issues affecting residents of the East Side’s 28th Senate District. You can also download it here.
Liz’s Community Bulletin for November is available here! View this month’s edition on this page, or download it as a PDF.
Nicole Gelinas cuts through the Airbnb talking points with this thoughtful column on short-term rentals from Monday’s New York Post:
Airbnb’s other argument is that its “hosts” need cash. We all need money, but we can’t break the law. Plus, by enabling rent-stabilized tenants to violate their leases as well as the law, Airbnb puts its “hosts” in danger of eviction…
Airbnb also says the money its hosts make helps them keep New York affordable. “This income is actually helping them to stay in their homes,” Airbnb policy director Molly Turner said last month.
But a landlord can get $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom legally, or $9,000 illegally. After he eventually cuts out the middleman — the tenant who thinks she’s smart in making a few extra bucks — that’s an apartment that someone can’t live in, pushing up rents for everyone.
You don’t have to believe in rent control to realize that the city should enforce laws to keep apartments as apartments.
On Thursday, Liz joined a diverse group of advocates, including Ramsey Adams of Catskill Mountainkeeper and Mike Long, chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, to launch a campaign against Proposal One, the constitutional amendment authorizing up to seven new casinos in New York State, which is on the November 2013 ballot for the voters’ approval. Multiple news outlets covered the press conference, including the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News, and Capital New York.
The Wall Street Journal wrote:
Two unlikely allies—Liz Krueger, the East Side Democrat known as one of the most liberal members of the state Senate, and Mike Long, chairman of the New York state Conservative Party—on Thursday presented the first organized opposition to the ballot measure. The amendment, along with legislation passed in Albany earlier this year, would initially authorize as many as four casinos to be developed upstate. Up to seven casinos could eventually be built.
The plan would impose a “regressive” tax on the poor, Ms. Krueger and Mr. Long said, asserting that it isn’t the answer to job growth. Ms. Krueger said she isn’t flatly opposed to gambling, but said the proposition would take money away from “mom and pop” shops. She said she disagrees with Mr. Cuomo that casino development would stimulate economic growth.
Liz Joins Diverse Coalition to Unveil Campaign Against Proposal One, Constitutional Amendment Authorizing Casinos in New York State
Joined by Liz on the steps of City Hall, a diverse coalition of political leaders, community groups, and advocates from around the state today announced their campaign urging voters to reject Proposal One. The Proposal’s inclusion on the November ballot represents the final stage in the approval process for a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing gaming at up to seven casinos in New York State.
Sen. Krueger’s District Office will be closed starting the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 18, and will reopen at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at our new location: 1850 Second Avenue, at 96th Street. While our office is closed, you can still contact Sen. Krueger by email to lkrueger [at] nysenate [dot] gov. Members of the media can contact Sen. Krueger’s communications director at (917) 720-7895, or by email to goldston [at] nysenate [dot] gov.
Today Liz announced her introduction of legislation to protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. The Buffalo News‘ Tom Precious reports:
Days after a federal judge said an unpaid intern did not have the same protections as paid employees against workplace sexual harassment, a state lawmaker has introduced legislation to end what has been described as a dangerous loophole in the state’s human rights laws. Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, wants to end sexual harassment episodes in which employers have escaped without penalty solely because the victim was an intern.
Read more at the Buffalo News website, see Liz’s press release, or look up the bill on the Open Legislation.