Local pols are getting on the pro-tenant bandwagon. New state senator Daniel Squadron did a press conference in front of the Economakis residence on East 3rd Street, site of “owner-occupancy” evictions, which has been the subject of protests and a Voice story last year. The Assembly has passed a bill that would limit such evictions, and Squadron was letting people know he was all for it. And Republican (!) state senator Frank Padavan stood out in the cold to show support for the big kahuna of the assembly’s rent bills, A02237 — which would seriously cut back on vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to take certain apartments out of rent stabilization when a tenant moves out.
Senate backers of such laws must be happy to get a Republican vote, because that of Democratic state senator Pedro Espada is not a sure thing in this matter. Though Espada has previously expressed support for the repeal of vacancy control, says the Norwood News, he still hasn’t come out for it in the chamber. Espada, one of the erstwhile Democratic rebels who held Malcolm Smith’s majority leader post for ransom and has caucused with Republicans in previous political incarnations, is the loosest of loose cannons, and the narrowness of the Democratic majority in the state senate may encourage him to funny business. He’s to one to watch when the bills get there.