By Shirley Irons | Street Hype | November 1-18, 2017
"Prominent labor and human rights advocate, Ray Rogers, has launched a counterattack against the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) asserting that REBNY more appropriately stands for Real Estate Bullies of New York.
"Rogers claims, 'REBNY's top policymakers are a cartel of billionaire bullies and racketeers.' Their abuse of political power is at the core of NYC's lack of affordable housing and homeless crisis leaving 62,000 living in shelters and thousands more in the streets. Rogers says these conditions are exacerbated by REBNY orchestrated rezoning plans leading to 'hyper-gentrification on steroids.'
"Millions of residents face displacement and thousands of small businesses are shutting down, Rogers explains, 'as profit-driven landlords and property speculators are charging exorbitant rents and finding more ways to evict renters from their apartments, shops and offices.'
"Rogers says 'REBNY corrupts our political system by feeding compliant politicians with fat campaign contributions to see things their way.' Two glaring examples are ..."
By Joe Maniscalco | LaborPress | October 23, 2017
"If you've ever wondered why rents are so high in New York City, the latest episode of Blue Collar Buzz is for you. On it, we have an extensive conversation with Ray Rogers, director of the watchdog group, Corporate Campaign, about the power the Real Estate Board of New York [REBNY] wields in this town — and why that's not a good thing." (Read More)
Ray Rogers, interviewed by Joe Maniscalco Labor Press Radio's Blue Collar Buzz October 22, 2017, talks about the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies and two NYC labor leaders at the forefront of the struggle.
Ray Rogers discusses with radio host Arthur Schwartz REBNY's dirty money in politics and its assault on rent stabilization, small businesses and construction unions.
Ray Rogers and Bennett Kremen discusses the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies on The Diana Montford Show (10-6-2017).
Ray Rogers discusses the Campaign to Stop REBNY Bullies on WBAI (9-12-2017).
Frank Craven spotlights REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York), described as a cartel run by racketeers and bullies and one of the worst plagues to hit NYC, with guests Ray Rogers & Ben Kremen on his Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV show "Authority vs Majority: What's Ailing/Healing America." Published on Aug 25, 2017.
The Creative Destruction of New York City by Alessandro Busa
by Alessandro Busà
Oxford University Press 2017
The introduction to Chapter 7 entitled "A Different Brand of Mayor," Busa quotes Sarah Goodyear: (CITYLAB 9/11/13):
"De Blasio won...because better than anyone else, he articulated the sense of loss that many New yorkers are feeling these days. He acknowledged the residents of the city who are always looking over their shoulders, waiting for the next rent hike, the next demolition, the next conversion of a local store to a national chain. He spoke to the folks who are barely hanging on as the city gets bigger and stronger and richer around them."
Busa also quotes reporter Konrad Putzier (The Real Deal 2/1/16): "Since taking the reins, de Blasio has proven to be far from the radical leftist... Rather, he has arguably been a solid real estate advocate."
Busa writes: "...today's super-gentrification is 'upgrading' the city to standards that are unaffordable but to the very wealthy...When did people tell their government bureaucracies to drain city budgets to subsidize big corporations and banking giants? Or to give out massive tax breaks to developers and buyers of luxury units, when affordable housing is shrinking at a record pace?...There must be something better than this. As people wake up and challenge the established consensus around city building, there will be a chance for us to see another kind of creative destruction. And hopefully, it will be the creative destruction of established norms, slogans, and political practices that have made this system so disconnected from the needs of the citizens of New York..."
"Vanishing New York" is another powerful expose of unbridled greed and how the policies of the real estate industry, led by REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York), is tearing apart the social fabric of New York City.
Excerpts from "Vanishing New York"
by Jeremiah Moss
Published by Harper Collins 2017
"...this book isn't about how we all lose our personal city. It's about how the city has been taken from us. It's not just a story of death, it's the story of murder...The spirit of the city as we knew it has vanished in the shadow of luxury condo towers, rampant greed...This is not unique to New York. Hyper-gentrification, the term I use for the force that drives the city's undoing — gentrification on speed, shot up with free-market capitalism — is a global pandemic...
And in every afflicted city, the story is the same: luxury condos, mass evictions, hipster invasions, a plague of tourists, the death of small local businesses, and the rise of corporate monoculture...If you take away just one thing from this book, let it be this: hyper-gentrification and its free-market engine is neither natural nor inevitable. It is man-made, intentional and therefore stoppable..."
Zoned Out! is a powerful expose of unbridled greed and how the policies of the real estate industry, led by REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York), is tearing apart the social fabric of New York City. REBNY'S dirty money in politics has paved the way for billionaire developers to bulldoze neighborhoods and landmark buildings in order to build more luxury high-rise buildings with multi-million dollar condos. REBNY's draconian land use and labor policies are a major factor behind New York's lack of affordable housing and homeless crisis, thousands of small businesses being forced to shut down and the alarming number of fatalities of construction workers in New York City.
Excerpts from "Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City"
Tom Angotti and Sylvia Morse, Editors
Contributors Philip DePaolo, Peter Marcuse, Samuel Stein
Published in 2016 by Terreform, Inc.
180 Varick Street, Suite 1510 NYC
Today, New York City is one of the most segregated and unequal cities in the world. The island of Manhattan, at its center, the ultimate (and only) destination for many outside visitors, is the most unequal of all counties in the nation (Roberts 2014). Beyond Wall Street, Times Square, and the luxury towers and town houses lie the apartment blocks, row houses and public housing where working people live. The divide between Wall Street (the 1 percent) and the 99 percent is gaping; the luxury condos selling for up to $100 million are not far from the 59,000 homeless people sleeping in shelters every night; and the billion-dollar bank headquarters hover above the huge pool of service workers in bars and restaurants making sub-standard wages without any benefits...
In one of the most dynamic land markets in the world, increasing home prices and rents constantly churn over neighborhoods. These changes often benefit property owners, but renters - the majority of New Yorkers — are constantly on the run, forced to pay higher rents and priced out. Entire neighborhoods are transformed by gentrification...
The driving force behind all of this is the real estate market, which seeks new opportunities for investment in favorable locations that yield the highest economic return (the ABC's of real estate are commonly known as: location, location, location). Higher returns on investment in land mean higher rents and home prices. Since these rising housing costs are not matched by increases in income levels for working people, new development means more displacement and segregation — unless government steps in to balance the scales.
This is the proverbial real estate capital of the world, and when prime locations are ripe for development, the real estate industry presses city governments to provide the appropriate set of planning and housing policies that will help them realize the future value of their investments in land. It is no coincidence that the single largest contributor to the campaigns of local elected officials is the real estate industry.
The city's planning and housing bureaucracies are responsible for translating the needs of the real estate industry into policy. They appear at community meetings to advise people that development is coming and declare that the only thing anyone can do is to adapt and perhaps get some small benefits out of it. Market-rate development and rezoning are presented as some mysterious forces that cannot be stopped. The city uses its authority to create an air of inevitability that robs people of any power to control the future of their communities. The city's planning department promotes exercises in community-based planning, but whenever neighborhoods have developed their own well-reasoned plans the official planners throw them away. This happens even after the City Planning Commission has officially reviewed and approved the community plans, as the chapter on Williamsburg shows....
East Harlem resident Ray Rogers speaks out against REBNY and REBNY/NYC's rezoning policies at Community Board 11 Task Force meeting. on 6/16/17.
Ray Rogers condemns NYC's rezoning policies as REBNY policies that benefit fat cat developers like Rob and Jerry Speyer (Tishman Speyer), Jed Walentas (Two Trees Management), Gary Barnett (Extell Development Company) and Daniel Brodsky (The Brodsky Organization). Rogers says REBNY is run by "bullies and racketeers" while speaking at Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's rezoning hearing in East Harlem (7-13-17).
Ray Rogers on LaborPress "Blue Collar Buzz" AM970 Discussing NYC Construction Trades and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) May 21, 2017.
By Joe Maniscalco | LaborPress | May 19, 2017
"In an episode of LaborPress' 'Blue Collar Buzz' airing Sunday night at 9 p.m. on AM970, Corporate Campaign, Inc. leader Ray Rogers says REBNY's longstanding power to corrupt elected officials, drive up rents and erode construction safety standards citywide, can be greatly 'diminished' through coordinated efforts.
"'In fact, I believe we can make REBNY an institution you would not recognize from what it is today,' Rogers says. 'But I need the support of every labor union out there. Not just the Building Trades, but others, too.'
"To help drive the point home about the need to reform the Real Estate Board of New York, Rogers has helped produce a five-minute animation called 'REBNY Bullies' which uses caustic humor to castigate the high-powered organization and its activities.
"The next public showing of 'REBNY Bullies' is Tuesday, May 23, at 6 p.m., as part of the Workers Unite Film Festival, Penn South, 343, 8th Avenue." (Read More)
Eddie Small | The Real Deal | May 09, 2017
Prominent labor organizer Ray Rogers says the Real Estate Board of New York is responsible for some of New York City's biggest problems, and he's releasing a short animated film that takes aim at the lobbying group...
Rogers will debut the anti-REBNY film "Bullies" on Tuesday evening at Cinema Village Movie Theater during the pro-union Workers Unite Film Festival, according to Crain's.
REBNY — which represents landlords, developers and real estate brokers — has contributed to a host of crises in New York, including a shortage of affordable housing, small businesses shutting down or getting displaced, increasing injuries to construction workers, and corruption in politics, Rogers claims.
He said he was motivated to make the film, which runs five minutes, after witnessing what he described as unsafe construction practices by nonunion labor at a site in Dumbo... (Read More)
By Daniel Geiger | Crain's New York | May 9, 2017
Ray Rogers, who has directed campaigns against giant companies such as Coca-Cola, is debuting a five minute animated film that he says will highlight the harm the Real Estate Board of New York has caused in the city. The film, called Bullies will be played on Tuesday evening at Cinema Village Movie Theater, as part of the Workers Unite Film Festival, a collection of pro-union productions.
A promotional image for the short shows an illustrated picture of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan and a giant "REBNY" emblazoned foot stepping down on it.
In an online leaflet entitled "Beware of REBNY Real Estate Bullies Plaguing New York", Rogers blames real estate magnates for many of the city's housing challenges. "The film shows how REBNY is a major reason why we have a homeless crisis, why we have small businesses shutting down, serious injuries on construction jobs and corruption in politics," Rogers said. (Read More)
Ray Rogers on LaborPress "Blue Collar Buzz" AM970 Discussing NYC Construction Trades and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) November 20, 2016.