Coalition threatens to back more insurgent Democrats against incumbents
A group that helped Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeat veteran Rep. Joe Crowley is threatening to back other insurgents against Democrats in the Assembly next year, The Post has learned.
The New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is part of a coalition going after the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee for accepting more than $400,000 from real estate interests since 2015.
The coalition is threatening to back primary opponents against the co-chairs of the DACC — Joe Lentol and Peter Abbate of Brooklyn and Jeff Dinowitz of the Bronx — if they don’t adopt a more pro-tenant, pro-labor agenda, sources said.
The opening salvo came in a letter the coalition is sending Thursday to three Assembly members as debate heats up over renewing New York’s rent stabilization law, which expires in June.
“We need to know that our elected officials are independent and will listen to and take the side of their constituents in Albany — especially with the rent laws set to expire again this June,” the letter says.
“If the Democratic Assembly is with us, DACC must return the $414,115.18 of dirty money raised and declare that you will no longer accept contributions from the compromised industry. Too often we have been burned because our elected officials have been too close with monied interests.”
The coalition specifically takes issue with a bill authored by Lentol that would allow tenants to list one apartment — but no more — on such home-sharing sites as Airbnb.
That would “convert rent stabilized housing into commercial properties,” the coalition contends.
“Last year six faux Democrats who sided with big real estate and kept Senate Republicans in power lost their seats, but it doesn’t seem like Joe Lentol got the message,” said Gus Christensen of No IDC, another group that’s part of the coalition.
IDC refers to the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democrats who caucused with Republicans for about a decade in the state Senate. Most of those Democrats were ousted from office last year.
“We have two words for him — watch out. If Lentol continues to side with wealthy landlords at the expense of expanding tenant protections for struggling families, we will aggressively support a challenger to make him unlucky number seven,” said Christensen.
Coalition members plan to hold a protest rally outside Lentol’s Brooklyn district office Friday, a source said.
The coalition also includes New York Communities for Change, Tenants PAC, Churches United for Fair Housing, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, Ridgewood Tenants Union, Riverside Edgecombe Neighborhood Association, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, West Side Neighborhood Alliance, and Tenants and Neighbors and Mount Vernon Tenants United.
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