By LOUIS FLORES
The five-day extender of New York City's rent laws, passed last week by the state legislature, expires Tuesday, and tenant activists continue to protest against Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-New York), expecting more leadership from him that he has shown on this issue.
Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of activists gathered outside Governor Cuomo's office in Albany, holding up protest signs and banners, trying to shame the governor into strengthening the city's rent laws as legislative leaders seek a permanent extension to the rent laws.
As documented by Albany reporter Karen DeWitt, some of the protesters crowded directly outside the glass doors to Governor Cuomo's office, triggering security officials to lock the glass doors to keep the protesters out of Governor Cuomo's office.
Today's protests up in Albany are a continuation of demonstrations from last night, when some activists slept outdoors in Academy Park in Albany, and from yesterday, when some activists demonstrated outside a Manhattan building owned by Glenwood Management, the scandal-torn real estate developer at the center of controversies involving large campaign contributions and the now-expired 421-a tax abatement program.
Revelations published Tuesday morning by the journalist Ryan Hutchins in a report for Capital New York showed that Governor Cuomo blamed the impasse regarding the renewal of stronger rent laws on the State Assembly.
To some grassroots tenant activists, it was inconceivable that Governor Cuomo would proverbially throw the State Assembly "under the bus" during intense negotiations to strengthen or renew the expired rent laws, because it would undermine Governor Cuomo's negotiations with State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx), the only legislative leader from Governor Cuomo's political party, and one of the "three men in the room" that includes Governor Cuomo and State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown).
Meanwhile, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo, blamed a divided tenant lobby for not supporting a common goal. However, as Progress Queens has reported, key nonprofit tenant advocacy groups are divided by political orders given to them by elected officials.