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Major RSA Effort Against Intro. 2047 Likely to Pay Off

Owners & Tenants Fight in Unison Against Controversial Bill

After months of educating RSA members and their tenants about a highly-contentious City Council bill that would eliminate criminal background checks, it appears as if the proposal no longer has the strong support it once had.

Since the end of the summer, RSA has led the charge against Intro. 2047 from Council Member Stephen Levin, which as a reminder, would prohibit building owners and property managers from performing criminal background checks in rentals, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements throughout the five boroughs.

In addition to our advocacy, RSA launched a VoterVoice campaign that allowed our members, their tenants, and other rental property owners, to reach out directly to their Council representative to voice their concerns with proposed legislation, as well as encourage particular Council Members to remove their support from the bill. As of mid-November, over 800 messages were sent to 47 different Council Members. Furthermore, RSA drafted a customizable letter for property owners that details Intro. 2047, explains what is at stake, and provides them with information on what they can do to assist our efforts. We encouraged our members to share the letter with their tenants and ask them for their support in fighting against the legislation.

When RSA first alerted our members to Intro. 2047 in early September, there were already 27 Council Members signed onto the bill as co-sponsors. Council Member Levin, who will be term-limited out of the Council at the end of the year, hoped that the passage of the bill would be expedited. Had the bill received additional support over the last two months, it would have likely passed as it is currently written.

Fortunately, RSA acted before the bill could be voted out of committee. As we went to press, RSA learned that up to five Council Members who originally expressed support for the bill have now removed their names as co-sponsors after receiving immense backlash from their constituents. Although we will not reveal the names of those Council Members at this time, we were also anticipating that additional Council Members would also withdraw their support from the bill.

Furthermore, the results of the November 2nd elections will also have an impact on whether or not this bill will fall completely by the wayside before the end of the year. Many of the Council Members who have given support for this bill are also term-limited and will be leaving office at the end of December. Furthermore, many Council Districts in Queens and Brooklyn have flipped to candidates who would almost certainly not support this bill once they are sworn into office.

Although this is encouraging news, we must not become complacent and keep our foot on the gas. The VoterVoice campaign will continue to remain live until December 31st and if you have not yet sent a message to your Council representative, please visit https://bit.ly/3tINiJn so that you can participate in the fight against Intro. 2047. You can also find the above-mentioned letter HERE.
Be on the lookout for additional updates on Intro. 2047 in the weeks to come. 

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