Members of the State Legislature are back in Albany today after a two week break. Yesterday, before ending their Manhattan respite, Lower Manhattan elected officials did a little politicking downtown.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Senator Daniel Squadron, Senator Tom Duane and City Councilmember Margaret Chin were among those making appearances at a fundraiser yesterday afternoon for the Lower Manhattan political club, Downtown Independent Democrats.
There’s a lot of unfinished business to deal with in Albany, including ethics reform, a property tax cap and a gay marriage proposal. But in brief remarks, Silver said his top priority is the expansion of rent laws, which expire June 15th.
The entire downtown delegation is in agreement on the issue. It remains to be seen whether Governor Cuomo will push Senate Republicans to make concessions on expanding rent protections, or whether he’ll be satisfied with a straight-up renewal of the current laws.
The club honored U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand yesterday (an aide accepted an award on her behalf), as well as Senator Squadron. The city’s political clubs provide important organizational support for candidates running for city, state and national office.
In the last year, Jeanne Wilcke (the club president) and Paul Newell (district leader) have made a big push to expand the organization by recruiting younger members not necessarily part of the political establishment.