Astoria Tenants Picket Vallone

Over 150 tenant-constituents of City Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D-Queens) picketed his district office in Astoria Feb. 24.

Speaker Vallone has been blocking attempts by Councilmembers Virginia Fields and Stanley Michels to introduce a bill that would renew the city’s rent-regulation laws and repeal Local Law 4 of 1994, which has allowed landlords to deregulate many NYC apartments by claiming the rent is above $2,000.

According to a Queens tenant, Vallone actually appeared at the office during the afternoon’s picketing and “wondered what the ‘nonsense’ was all about.” When tenants challenged him on his opposition to the Fields/Michels bill, he tried to claim his position was in support of tenants.

Vallone spearheaded the passage of Local Law 4, which made the high-income and high-rent decontrol provisions in the rent-stabilization law permanent. Among the main lobbyists for it was Joe Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association, who had left his position as Vallone’s chief of staff only a few months before to take the helm of the landlord group