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Eric Adams Becomes New York City Mayor-Elect

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While it was expected that Eric Adams would be elected as the next Mayor of New York City, a handful of City Council races throughout the five boroughs turned out to be pleasant surprises for the rental housing industry.
After securing the Democratic nomination for New York City Mayor in late June, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was widely considered as the favorite to defeat Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa in the general election on November 2nd. Despite a low voter turnout, Adams was declared winner of the mayoral race within minutes of the polls closing. Now, Adams will succeed Bill de Blasio as Mayor when he is sworn into office in early January.

Although Mayor-elect Adams typically supports most pro-tenant measures, the former State Senator has developed an excellent working relationship with RSA staff over the years and is also a supporter of common-sense housing policies that are beneficial to both property owners and tenants. RSA now looks forward to working with his new Administration in the upcoming months and for the first time in eight years, have a seat at the discussion table to ensure that the best policy decisions are made to protect the City’s aging affordable housing stock. This includes, but not limited to, direct discussions with major City agencies such as the Department of Buildings (DOB) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), an unbiased City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) that considers adequate rent adjustments based solely on data and not politics, and much more.

In addition to the mayoral race, there were a handful of surprises in City Council races throughout Brooklyn and Queens where Republican candidates defeated Democratic candidates who were predicted to win those particular Council seats. For over a year, RSA preached about the importance of electing moderate candidates who support a fair balance of building owner and tenant needs. At the end of the day, party affiliation was irrelevant as long as a particular candidate was not a full-blown supporter of anti-owner legislation.

For decades, the City Council has been predominantly Democratic, with only three Republican representatives over the last eight years. This year, for the first time since 2009, Republicans gained seats in the City Council. These newly elected Republican Council Members include Joann Ariola of Queens Council District 32, Vickie Palladino of Queens Council District 19, Inna Vernikov of Brooklyn Council District 48, and David Carr of Staten Island Council District 50.

As we went to press, two races were called where Republicans nearly won. This included Brooklyn Council District 47, where Democratic candidate Ari Kagan held on to defeat Republican Mark Szuszkiewicz. Additionally in Brooklyn Council District 43, in near major political upset, Republican Brian Fox came close to defeating Democrat Justin Brannan, who has aspirations to become the next City Council Speaker.

Please be advised that the significance of Republican candidates defeating Democratic candidates is not because of political party affiliation. Rather, it is important because the progressive, Democratic candidates they ran against were all but guaranteed to be supporters of anti-owner measures proposed at the City Council over the next four years. Although RSA has yet to develop any relationships with the newly elected Council Members, we look forward to engaging in dialogue with these elected Council Members once they are sworn into office in January.

We would also be remiss if we did not mention that the proposed changes to New York Proposal 1, also known as the New York Redistricting Changes Amendment (2021), was defeated. Ahead of Election Day, RSA encouraged voters to vote “no” against this proposed amendment. Had the measure been approved by voters, it would have amended Proposal 1 that was adopted in 2014, which established a bi-partisan and independent 10-person redistricting commission in New York State that is responsible for designing congressional and State legislative maps and submitting the proposal to the State Legislature for a vote. The proposed changes to Proposal 1 would have turned the redistricting process into more of a partisan measure, allowing a simple majority vote by the political party who controls the Legislature (currently the Democratic party) to decide how these district lines are determined. These changes would have had enormous consequences on the future of politics in New York State. 

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