Tenants Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its support this morning for Gustavo Rivera in his bid to unseat incumbent Pedro Espada, Jr. in the 33rd Senate District. It adds to a growing list of endorsements for Rivera, who is also being supported by several unions and prominent elected officials.
“In contrast to the incumbent, Gustavo Rivera is a true progressive and a person of integrity who is concerned about the welfare of the people of the 33rd State Senate District, not in lining his pockets,” said Tenants PAC board member Michael McKee.
Tenants PAC is essentially the political arm of the Real Rent Reform Campaign, which is an umbrella organization of pro-tenant groups, including the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, that advocates for tenant protection legislation.
In addition to announcing its support for Rivera, Tenants PAC also rescinded its endorsements of three incumbent Democratic State Senators – Brian Foley, Daniel Aubertine and David Valesky – after they voted against two smaller tenant protection bills on Aug. 3.
Espada, who is chairman of the housing committee, also voted against the bills. McKee, who is executive director of the Real Rent Reform Campaign, has long accused Espada of being a puppet of real estate and landlord groups. “Just look at Espada’s campaign disclosure reports and you will see why he fronts for the landlords,” said McKee in a statement. “His contributors are a Who’s Who of the real estate industry.”
According to the Bronx News Network's own analysis, Espada has received more than $178,000 in contributions from the real estate industry and landlord groups. This year, his nine housing committee meetings lasted an average of 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
Here's our story on Espada's tenure as chairman of the housing committee.