By Allie Ryan
For the first time, Greenwich Village will become part of Council District 2 (https://www.nyc.gov/assets/districting/downloads/pdf/02-Final-Plan-10-6-22-Districts.pdf). Primary Day is coming up on June 27, 2023 and Early Voting is June 12 – 25. For the Democratic Primary the current Councilmember representing Council District 2 is Carlina Rivera and she will face a challenge from me, Allie Ryan.
I would like to take the opportunity to discuss the District 2 incumbent, Carlina Rivera’s track record of betraying residents because she is a Yes-person for the mayor and accepts money from multi-millionaire real estate developers and special interests. By contrast I have stood with Lower Manhattan residents to fight overdevelopment and displacement.
Carlina has abandoned her progressive values and ethics to conspire with the real estate lobby. Last year when Carlina ran for Congress to represent NY-10, she funded her failed campaign with money from multi-millionaire developers and shadow lobbying organizations. One person and one group stand out: Ben Carlos Thypin, a real estate investor, who founded OpenNY, a pro-development group. OpenNY proudly endorsed, contributed money and campaigned for Carlina’s fated NY-10 Congressional run last year. (https://www.fec.gov/data/candidate/H2NY10324/?tab=raising#individual-contribution-transactions) Anyone who attended a SoHo NoHo Rezoning public hearing between 2019 and 2021 witnessed OpenNY members verbally insult Lower Manhattan residents.
Carlina’s horrifying track record includes supporting every controversial real estate proposal and advancing legislation despite her own constituents’ opposition. Her legislation has revealed that she does not support the character of neighborhoods nor historic districts.
The SoHo / NoHo Rezoning:
I have been a vocal critic of this hastily pushed through rezoning coupled with a draconian bill designed to displace long-term tenants and homeowners. Carlina betrayed her constituents, negotiated and approved a rezoning intended to build more unneeded office buildings, big-box retail and luxury high-rises, while punishing long-term SoHo and NoHo residents and displacing low income tenants. Residents petitioned Mayor Eric Adams to overturn the draconian bill. And then residents filed a lawsuit to repeal the loop-hole riddled rezoning.
Small Businesses & Job:
Carlina betrayed the merchants by withdrawing sponsorship of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, a bill that would have enabled merchants to grow when negotiating lease renewals with their landlords. Instead Carlina chose to be a prime sponsor of the Commercial Rent Stabilization Act, a landlord-friendly bill, which is designed to keep commercial rents going up like the (Residential) Rent Guidelines Board and maintain the status quo. I believe she took this unusual gamble because she did not think the merchants, workers and voters would ever learn the truth. I am making merchants aware of these two bills and how they will impact their businesses when their leases expire.
Privatization of Public Space
: I have been vocally opposed to the private takeover of public space allowed by “Open Restaurants” and “Open Streets,” which have increased rat, trash, noise, non-ADA compliance problems. Carlina sponsored the heavy-handed legislation to make these COVID-era programs permanent against her constituents wishes, which have caused local residents to sue the City to repeal these pieces of legislation.
It is time to elect a City Council District 2 candidate who will be a public servant and actually listen and serve all constituents. Carlina has been a Yes-person to the Mayor while catering to multi-millionaire real estate developers, special interest lobbyists.
Whereas I have always sided with fellow-residents against ill-conceived city-policies and land use plans such as the SoHo / NoHo Rezoning. And I have not accepted any campaign contributions from multi-millionaire real estate developers nor special interest groups. I have the courage to lead Council District 2 and stand up to the Mayor and big real estate interests because I want to enable residents to be long-term residents and to live and work.