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Know Your Rights
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Sen. Espada In Hot Water With Bronx Tenants

Accused Of Being In Pocket of Landlords; Residents: He Doesn’t Live
Here, He Doesn’t Understand Our Needs

CBS 2 HD was the first to reveal that Bronx State Sen. Pedro Espada doesn’t
even live in his district. Now Espada is under fire from people who do live

They are voicing their anger over Espada’s stand on rent laws.

**Angry tenants protested Thursday outside the tony Water
Club where State Sen. Pedro Espada, who represents the Bronx but lives in a
$700,000 home in leafy Mamaroneck, was
speaking to a group of fat cat landlords.

"Espada’s allowing for the lobbyists to come into the
buildings and make them into co-ops and condos and regular people like me are
not being able to afford out apartments," said Jamie Johnson of the East Bronx.

The tenants change that Espada, who is chairman of the Senate Housing
Committee, is holding up pro-tenant legislation as he lunches with and cozies
up to the landlords.

"If you don’t live with us how can you make decisions for us when you live
outside of the district?" said Bronx
tenant Gail Gasden.

They said that someone who lives in Mamaroneck
can’t possibly understand their problems.

"Senator Espada’s actions shamelessly and clearly speak volumes that he is
in the pocket of the landlord lobby," Millie Colon said. "Shame on
you Sen. Espada. Shame on you. Shame on you."

A few weeks ago when CBS 2 HD tried to speak to Espada outside his Mamaroneck
home he tried to disguise himself in an orange ski hat and then held a baby in
front of his face as he pulled out of his driveway.

So it’s no wonder that Espada snuck out a back entrance of the Water Club on
Thursday to avoid the messy questions being asked by his constituents.

But we already know what he’ll say about not living in the Bronx.
Not long ago, CBS 2 HD caught up to the senator in Albany
and asked him straight out if he lives in Mamaroneck.
All Espada did was laugh at the question.

The tenants charge that the landlords are giving big bucks to Espada to help
sway his votes, but there’s really no way to tell how much they’re giving
because Espada hasn’t filed campaign finance reports for years.

The tenants charge that there are six key tenants’ rights bills that Espada is
bottling up in his committee.

Through a spokesman, Espada said he intends to have public hearings and town
hall meetings on housing legislation in order to keep politics out of the
decision process.

**Make the Road NY members and housing advocates
participated in the protest.