Giving the Keynote at the Eighth Annual West Side Tenants’ Conference
I was honored to have been invited to give the keynote address at the Eighth Annual West Side Tenants’ Conference, which was held on September 21 at Fordham Law School. I reminded participants that in this country, the precept that housing is an undeniable, unalienable right goes back to 1944, when Franklin Roosevelt declared that the U.S. had adopted a second bill of rights, including the right to a decent home. Regrettably, our state government, which controls our city housing laws, continues to treat housing as a privilege, not a right. I noted that the only way to put tenants on a level playing field and get our priority bills through the State Senate is to make Campaign Finance Reform the first bill on the tenants’ agenda. I am committed to that effort, as are my progressive, Democratic colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly, and I am confident that with a strong, united tenants movement we will ultimately win.