Critical Status for Brooklyn Live/Work Law. Artists Eye's are on Senator Squadron
09 Aug 2009 00:39 GMT
A few thousand people stand to be eventually evicted out of their spaces as a result of the non-vote on Bill S5881. But as the Senate will reconvene August 6th to deal with a backlog of bills, bill sponsor Daniel Squadron gets another chance to convince the art community that he has not turned his back. All he needs to do is to convince the Senate leadership to put the "Multiple Dwelling Amendment" on the August 6th agenda. New York's artists are holding their breath. Some even wrote letters.
Senator Daniel Squadron is not known as a home wrecker. In fact, he just
married his long time girlfriend. Yet, his happiness came at a heavy
price for some, potentially ruining the jobs, lives and homes of
thousands. At least that was the unfortunate perception echoed in many
angry reactions to his disappearance just before the Senate finally re-
convened again two weeks ago, leaving the Democratic majority in limbo. A
few thousand people stand to be eventually evicted out of their spaces
as a result of the non-vote on Bill S5881, the Brooklyn Live/ Work Loft
Law, for lack of a better title.
Perhaps calling it the Loft Law is technically correct but the
associations that the term loft evokes could not be farther from the
reality. The industrial spaces that have been converted are mostly very
bare-bones workshops with rudimentary living spaces, erratic services,
non-working elevators and long walks from the next subway stop. More
often than not they are shared among many young people and provide communal
common spaces - a very far cry from "Spacious Luxury Artist Lofts" that
brokers love to sell to bankers in Manhattan.
The sentiment among those who stand to lose their long-time live/work
spaces, has been - not surprisingly - unfavorable. Suffice it to say that
Senator Squadron's is no longer hailed as "our champion". "No more
fund raisers in art galleries..." predicted one disappointed sculptor. Others
feel that rather than attacking the senator, writing letters to him, detailing
how they are personally affected, would be more constructive. The Multiple
Dwelling Bill that Dan Squadron, who grew up in Westchester, picked up
http://open.nysenate.gov/openleg/api/html/bill/S5881 was written buy
veteran Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez who has long been naturally more
familiar with the significance of the Multiple Dwelling Amendment and the
devastating long term impact it's non-passing will have, not just on individuals,
but on the very sociocultural fabric that makes his district, and indeed,
New York City, iconic and desirable.
In all fairness, when Daniel Squadron left town he might have already known that the
bill had less than limited chances of success during the emergency
session as no housing-related bills made it on the agenda, in fact.
This despite the broad spectrum of supporters for a non-controversial
and heavily supported Bill. Indeed of the 952 laws that made it onto
the emergency agenda on July 16th, less than 400 even saw the light of
day. That leaves the Senate with some backlog, of course. Earlier this week it
became clear that another emergency session would be called before September,
when the Senate would typically reconvene. And as everyone
knows, the annual autumnal return is almost entirely consumed with
budgetary issues, this year more than ever.
Here is potentially good news, just around the corner: Senator Sampson
announced that the Senate will be in session again next week (August
6th) and therefore - Senator Squadron has an opportunity to prove that
he's neither inexperienced nor dispassionate, but that he is indeed serious
about following through on his bills. He will be able to positively change
10.000+ lives for the greater good and simultaneously,
confirm New York City's pre-eminence in the world of art, design,
technology, business and ideation.
And Squadron may yet end up with an a bunch of oversized sculptures on
his desk dedicated to "The Hero of Bushwick", or "The Savior of Williamsburg".
The Senator can be reached:
Senator Daniel Squadron
946 Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
read more: http://nyc.indymedia.org/or/2009/08/106754.html