Serrano Supports Union Workers At 1520 Sedgwick

José M. Serrano

December 11, 2008

Senator Serrano returned to 1520 Sedgwick, The Birthplace of Hip Hop, on Thursday night, this time to support the rights of the hard-working union staff. The building's new owner, Mark Karasick, has threatened massive cuts to salary and benefits.

"Karasick first came to strip the affordability of the building. Not surprisingly, he's now looking to trample on workers' rights, by ignoring union contracts and cutting wages," said the Senator.

"Well we are going to fight him every step of the way. We may not win right away. But we have the heart, the logic and the numbers on our side, and I'm confident we will prevail."

Karasick has garnered strong opposition from residents, elected officials and housing advocates, who argue that his purchase of the building is not financially supportable, and will result in increased tenant harassment and reduced maintenance.

"He is a poster child of the 'predatory equity' real estate market. In filling his portfolio with overleveraged, formerly subsidized buildings, Karasick has planted the seeds of foreclosure down the line. And it will be the tenants who suffer most," said the Senator.

"His treatment of the building staff is right out of the predatory equity playbook. Investors want to provide the barest minimum to operate the building, in what I believe is a clear intent to push

long-standing residents out of their homes."