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NY Live Work Addresses Misrepresentations

Hon. David Paterson
Governor of the State of New York
Albany, NY 12224

re: A.5667-C
June 21, 2010

Dear Governor Paterson,

We have received a copy of a letter from Congressmembers Nadler and Velazquez and City Councilmembers Reyna and Lander requesting that you veto this bill, and we submit below our formal response to each of their points, most of which we believe to be either misrepresentations or misunderstandings of the facts of Live/Work Loft Tenant Occupancy and this bill.

  1. It is disgraceful and or disingenuous to characterize our occupancy as ‘illegal’. We all have entered into lease agreements with our landlords, mostly on a long term basis, with the support of the communities we have transformed, to live and work in our lofts. While it is correct to say that this occupancy is not compliant with regulations, it is manipulative to characterize it as ‘illegal’.
  2. This bill will not displace any manufacturing businesses, NOT enacting this bill will displace all the loft tenants who have contributed so greatly to the City.
  3. If unscrupulous people derive unintended benefits from the bill, is that reason enough to deny the City all the deserved benefits this bill will bring?
  4. Not only will the passage of this bill help sustain the arts and culture in New York City, it will also help to preserve and create jobs. According to the City Planner Elizabeth Currid, the arts is the fourth largest employer in New York City.
  5. This law does not allow or create grounds for residential development of any kind— it protects those live/work occupancies which already exist. Once again, the consequences of this bill failing to become law will be eviction and harassment of tenants who have brought stability to abandoned neighborhoods in New York.

Governor Paterson, we have been working on having this bill passed for 12 years, and it is long
overdue, any further delay will bring only one consequence—further hardship for an important
part of the community of New Yorkers.

We beg you to consider our plea and to remember our contributions to the City and our extreme
vulnerability.

Thank you,
Steering Committee
New York Live/Work Coalition

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