2019 TA Board Election Notice

NOTICE TO ALL RESIDENTS

The Nominating Committee of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association (the “TA”) is soliciting candidates for election to the TA’s Board of Directors. Five director positions are available. The election will take place in May 2019.

This is an excellent opportunity for the community-minded to participate in a meaningful leadership role and help make decisions that have a positive impact on your neighbors and yourself.

Deadline for submission of applications for Director is January 28, 2019.

Requirements for Director

  • A resident of Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Current member of the TA

In addition, candidates:

  • Should be prepared to spend at least 20 hours each month on TA business
  • Commit to a monthly board meeting and other phone or in-person TA meetings as needed
  • Be prepared to participate in one or more TA committees

Application Requirements
Candidates must submit documentation to the Nominating Committee by January 28, 2019, consisting of:

  • A résumé or biography, maximum of two pages, stating relevant qualifications, including past community activities, or professional or work experience
  • A brief statement of why you are interested in serving on the Board
  • Best contact phone number and email address

Applications should be submitted via email to nominations2019@stpcvta.org


L Train: Get Info, Stay Up-to-Date

As of 1/14/19, it looks as though the L-pocalypse has been averted. Here are some ways to stay up-to-date and places to go for info:

Press release 1/3/19: “MTA Announces L Train Shutdown Averted”
The press release describes the new proposals for fixing the L train tunnel and gives bios for the review team that came up with the proposals.

L Project: On this website you can

  •   sign up for the L Project Weekly, an email update
  •   submit a comment
  •   find out what work has been completed and what is continuing

“L Project Changes: What You Need to Know”: Read the MTA fact sheet.

Recent media:
Gothamist: “Andy Byford Says He Won’t Be ‘Steamrolled’ into an Unsafe L Train Plan”

Office of the Governor: “Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Convenes Expert Panel to Present Recommendations for L Trains Tunnel Project”
Contains links to the video of the presentation

New York Times, Opinion: “Cuomo’s Risky L Train Fix” by Carmen Bianco, president of New York City Transit, 2013–2015

New York Times, “Is the Fix for the L Train Apocalypse Too Good to Be True?” by Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Winnie Hu

Spectrum News/NY1, Inside City Hall: “Experts on Team that Came Up with New L Train Repair Plan Break Down the Process” 


Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018: Neighborhood Policing Meet & Greet

Meet our new Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) at a special 13th Precinct event. Doors open at 6 p.m.—meeting starts at 7 p.m. Location: 41 Madison Ave. (lower level, between 25th & 26th Sts.)

Learn more about the program and ask questions you may have.

RSVP:
Det. Vincent Arlotta, (212) 477-7427, Vincent.Arlotta@nypd.org

OR

P.O. John Considine, (212) 477-7427, John.Considine@nypd.org

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/bureaus/patrol/precincts/13th-precinct.page


Open Meeting for ST & PCV Residents: Saturday, September 29, 2–4 p.m.

NEW LOCATION—ADA accessible: MSBI Bernstein Pavilion, Podell Auditorium, 10 Nathan D. Perlman Place
Between 15th & 16th Sts., one block west of First Ave.

Open mic Q&A—bring your questions
Lots to talk about!

  • L train
  • MCIs: we strike back
  • Rent laws sunset in 2019: the fight for longtime and new tenants
  • Quality of life issues: what we tell management
  • New NYPD neighborhood policing, Oval noise survey and more

Confirmed speakers:
U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Assembly Member Harvey Epstein
City Comptroller Scott Stringer
City Council Member Keith Powers
13th Precinct Community Liaison


L Train Letter

City Council Member Keith Powers initiated a letter regarding the noise and quality of life issues resulting from the L train construction. Other elected officials signed on to the letter. Read it here.


Jolt the Vote

The federal primary in June sprang some surprises, and the primaries at the state and local level in September are ripe for more, particularly on the Democratic side.

So—are you registered to vote at your current address? Although you can register any time during the year, your form must be delivered or mailed at least 25 days before an election for it to be effective for that election. Even if you don’t enroll in a party, you’ll still want to vote in the general election in November. It’s a big one for us: one U.S. Senator, member of Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, state attorney general, judges, and more.

ELECTIONS COMING UP
Thursday, Sept. 13: State and local primaries—on a Thursday
Tuesday, Nov. 6: General election

Note: To vote in a primary election you must (1) be registered to vote at your current address and (2) be enrolled in the official political party recognized by the NY State Board of Elections that is holding a primary.

REGISTER BY MAIL

  • Download the Voter Registration Form (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali).
  • Voter Registration Forms with prepaid postage are also available at the Board of Elections, libraries, post offices, most New York City government agencies, and the League of Women Voters of the City of New York. To have a registration form mailed to you, call the Board of Elections at 866-VOTE-NYC (866-868-3692).
  • Fill out a Voter Registration Application using a pen with only blue or black ink. Be sure to sign the form.
  • Mail the Voter Registration Form to: Board of Elections, 32 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10004.

REGISTER IN PERSON
Register in person at any of the Board of Elections offices in the five boroughs.
Manhattan: 200 Varick Street (near W. Houston St.), 10th floor, 212-886-2100, Monday–Friday,  9 a.m.–5 p.m.

REGISTER ONLINE
If you have a New York State driver’s license or DMV-issued nondriver’s ID card, go to https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.

REGISTRATION DATES
State and local primaries
Aug. 18 Last day to postmark a mail application. Aug. 22 Last day it must be received by Board of Elections.
Aug. 19 Last day an in-person application must be received by the Board of Elections.

General election
Oct. 12 Last day to postmark a mail application. Oct. 17 Last day it must be received by the Board of Elections.
Oct. 12 Last day an in-person application must be received by the Board of Elections. If you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since Oct. 13, you may register in person at the Board of Elections until October 27.

To register to vote in the City of New York, you must:

  1. be a citizen of the United States (includes persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and naturalized citizens).
  2. be a New York City resident for at least 30 days by the time of election.
  3. be 18 years old by December 31 of the year the registration is filed (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary, or other election in which you want to vote).
  4. not be serving a prison sentence or be on parole for a felony conviction.
  5. not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
  6. not claim the right to vote elsewhere (outside the City of New York).

The “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) of 2002 requires all first-time voters who register by mail to provide additional identification either on or with the voter registration application, for example, the voter’s driver’s license number or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number. If you do not have a driver’s license or Social Security number, you may use a valid photo ID, a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or some other government document that shows your name and address.


2018 TA Board of Directors Election Notice

The Annual Meeting for the election of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, Inc., will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at MSBI’s Podell Auditorium, 10 Nathan D. Perlman Place (one block west of First Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets). At that time, members will vote to fill seats on the TA Board of Directors. All members who are current in their dues as of May 22, 2018, the record date set for the meeting, are entitled to vote.

Please note that this meeting is for record purposes only; there will be no program.

Since the election is uncontested this year, in an effort to minimize expenses, no proxies or ballots will be distributed. The election will be conducted at the Annual Meeting.

The Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, has endorsed five persons to be elected to the board.

Other TA members interested in being elected to the Board were provided the opportunity to be nominated by submitting a petition signed by 30 current members of the Tenants Association no later than March 31, 2018. Because no such petitions were submitted, only the persons endorsed by the Board have been nominated.

The persons endorsed by the Board:

Anne Greenberg is a lifelong resident of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. With a varied career in book publishing, she has used her communications skills for the TA and has also been involved in maintenance and quality-of-life issues in the community. Anne also represents the TA to Real Rent Reform (R3), a coalition of tenant associations and advocacy groups that fight for tenant-friendly legislation, and she has testified before the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. After serving as a volunteer for several years, Anne joined the Board in 2014.

Lynn Janovsky is a born-and-bred East Villager who has lived in Stuyvesant Town since 1996 (moving in the week after the blizzard of ’96) and has no plans to leave. A marketing communications strategist, Lynn looks forward to bringing her professional skills to the STPCV TA Board and the community, and engaging all our amazing residents in making sure ST and PCV continue to evolve as a dynamic place we all want to live.

Michael Lang has lived with Debbra Lang, his wife, in Peter Cooper Village since 2016, having relocated here from Chicago. A retired Assistant United States Attorney from Illinois and Michigan, he was also a county prosecutor in Detroit. While living in Chicago, he acted as a Cook County Arbitrator and volunteered at a Catholic Charities food bank. In addition, Michael served for three years on the condo board for one of his residences in Chicago, where he dealt with significant legal and political issues.

Jeanette Sheehan is a Delivery Director for Sirius Computer Solutions, a technology consulting firm, where she manages all aspects of system delivery from inception to go-live and ongoing maintenance for top-tier clients. Jeanette moved to the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village community in 2013 and has been a building leader since 2015. She is excited to get involved with activities to make sure STPCV continues to be a place where residents can thrive. Jeanette has also volunteered at the New York ASPCA and at MoMA for over ten years.

John J. Sheehy has served on the Board for the past eight years. Among other things, he played an important role in formulating a condominium conversion plan when the property was for sale, facilitated the Roberts settlement, and was key to bringing Blackstone to the property. John was a senior partner, Chair of the Litigation Department, and Member of the Executive Committee of the international law firm Rogers & Wells. He served on the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for twelve years and is a retired Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. John was Chair of the Board of NYC Court Appointed Special Advocates (“CASA”) for six years.


The Fight for Rent Justice—Tenants Association Goes to Albany

On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, members of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association joined other members of the Real Rent Reform (R3) coalition on a bus trip to Albany to meet with state senators, both Republicans and Democrats.

The goal: Get the senators to commit to supporting three bills to strengthen rent regulations.

R3 represents rent-regulated tenants around the state. The coalition seeks:

  1. the repeal of vacancy decontrol, responsible for the loss of 250,000 rent-regulated units over the past decade;
  2. the repeal of the vacancy bonus, which gives landlords a 20% increase each time an apartment turns over; and
  3. to close the loophole on preferential rents—a discount from the legal rent that can be taken away at lease renewal, leading to a sudden increase of hundreds of dollars. Many of our neighbors in STPCV are all too familiar with this last one.

What did we ask for? The ask for Democratic senators was to sign onto the three bills if they have not yet done so. Republican senators were asked to allow the bills, stalled in the Housing Committee, out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

Where does our state senator stand? Our state senator, Brad Hoylman, is a cosponsor of all three bills. He joined us at a rally in the capitol’s Million-Dollar Staircase (see photo). Also joining us was Harvey Epstein, Democratic candidate for State Assembly for our district.

THESE BILLS MUST BE PASSED AT THE STATE LEVEL. The NYS Assembly has passed two of these bills and will pass the third easily. The NYS Senate, however, has yet to act. R3 is pressuring for the passage of these bills before the expiration of rent regulations in 2019, but they can be voted on anytime the legislature is in session.

20180417_114740RallyBrad.jpg


Fighting MCI Rent Increases: Hoylman and Powers Take On DHCR

Fed up with state agency DHCR not following its own internal rules for handling Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increases, TA president Susan Steinberg threw down the gauntlet before the elected representatives at the November 2017 Tenants Association public meeting. In response, State Senator Brad Hoylman and City Councilmember Keith Powers sent DHCR a letter outlining specific instances where the agency has been either inconsistent in applying its rules or ignored them altogether.

Issues include:

  • An MCI item must be depreciable under federal law (brick pointing is not);
  • Statute of limitations is ignored—applications are filed outside of the strict two-year limit;
  • Allocation for commercial tenants is often understated;
  • Applications are incomplete or include documentation for buildings other than those covered by a particular MCI;
  • Unnecessary consultant costs are included;
  • And one of the worst—disregard for DHCR’s own requirement that the agency’s decisions be accompanied by explanations.

DHCR (Division of Housing and Community Renewal) reviews landlords’ requests for Major Capital Improvement rent increases for rent-stabilized housing. Those increases become a permanent part of the legal base rent on which lease renewal increases are figured. All apartments in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are rent-stabilized until June 2020, when many will be removed from rent stabilization.

As of April 2018, the TA continues to challenge multiple MCIs for exterior restoration/facade work, hot water heaters, and Peter Cooper Village intercoms.

Read the letter.


TA President Testifies at City Council

At a hearing of the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings on 3/19/18 for renewal of the city’s rent laws, TA president Susan Steinberg gave this testimony:

Speaker Johnson, Housing Committee Chair Cornegy, members of the Housing Committee, thank you for supporting the renewal of city rent laws and the strengthening of state and city rent laws by closing loopholes. I am Susan Steinberg, President of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, and we support Resolution 188-A and Intro 600-A.

STPCV contains approximately 11,230 units and 28,000 residents. In 1947, it was built as a community for people of moderate means. In 1980, my one-bedroom cost $250 per month. In 2018, despite rent regulations, a one-bedroom starts at $3,156. Figuring 30% of one’s income for rent, one must earn $126,240 to afford that one-bedroom. That’s not moderate. New York City’s average annual salary is $68,883. Our cost of living is 129% higher than national average.

So how did a rent-regulated community get from moderate to market? Through vacancy deregulation, through weakening of rent laws every time they come up for renewal in Albany, and through loopholes—vacancy bonuses, preferential rents, and lots of major capital improvements that we pay for in perpetuity—loopholes that are bleeding our community, the city, and the state of regulated renters.

To afford the rent in Stuytown today, tenants double or triple up and leave at renewal as rents rise. Two thousand units turn over every year, providing a big opportunity for a 20% vacancy bonus. That, plus multiple MCIs we pay for till death push rents to exceed the $2,700/month deregulation benchmark.

To ease the turnover burden and sting of market rates, management offers preferential rents. Forty percent of our renters are preferential. The difference between the preferential and legal rents can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. Most renters don’t understand that the landlord is allowed to raise the rent all the way up to the legal rent on renewal. The Tenants Association gets the calls from tenants suffering from sticker shock when their monthly rent increases by, say, $500.

Renters are at a disadvantage. Owners don’t worry every three years about whether they will have a roof over their heads. Resolution 188-A and Intro 600-A must be passed and rent laws strengthened to ensure that housing for hundreds of thousands of tenants is a right, not a luxury.

Thank you, Council Members, for the opportunity to testify.