Sheldon Silver Continues to Veto the Second Avenue Subway

One of the greatest scandals in the history of New York City has been and still is the situation with regard to the Second Avenue Subway.

In the 1950s the voters approved a $500 million bond issue to build the Second Avenue subway line along the same route which was followed at that time by the Second Avenue elevated train, the "L".

The L was torn down but the Second Avenue Subway line was never built. Instead, the $500 million was used to build the BQE, or "Brooklyn Queens Expressway".
Sheldon Silver

Now, the Second Avenue Subway, which originally was supposed to have been built in 1953, is back on the agenda. The transit authority has presented a plan to build it by the year 2015. However, this plan is being vetoed by Sheldon Silver, the same politician who brought about the re-instatement of the nefarious rent control laws after they expired by operation of law in 1997.

Sheldon Silver says that he will not allow the subway project to pass, because it only calls for building a subway from 125th Street (where those undesirable black people live) to 63rd Street, where it will connect with the N line.

Silver says he will vote for it only if the Second Avenue Subway goes all the way down to the Wall Street Financial District.

However, this is impossible. Even the Second Avenue Line from 125th to 63rd St. will cost more than $2 billion dollars. Extending it all the way down to the financial district will make it impossibly expensive. That much money does not exist.

So the arch-fiend Sheldon Silver pretends to be trying to help the poor people in the Lower East Side by trying to bring them another subway, when in reality he is protecting the property values of the rich people on the Upper East Side who do not want the black people from Harlem coming into their neighborhoods.

Sheldon Silver is not stupid. He knows that by insisting that the subway be built, if at all, all the way from 125th Street to the Financial District will kill the entire project.

It is unfortunate that Sheldon Silver has been given veto power over the entire project.

Joshua P. Hill ( ) wrote in the nyc.transit newsgroup:

> "B. We can find the money--after all, we built the entire damn subway system."

However, this is not true. "We" did not build the New York City subway system.

The New York City subway system was built by private businesses, including Brooklyn Municipal Transit, which issued BMT bonds.

BMT and the other private companies which built the subway system all went bankrupt. New York City got the subway system for free.

Tom Fox, the old time head of the unit of the SEC which investigated securities fraud, told me that many Wall Street stock brokerage firms got rich in the 1930s when the BMT bonds were paid off by the city, because the bonds had been abandoned by their original owners as worthless.

The fact is that the Second Avenue Subway system was supposed to have been built in 1953, which is 46 years ago, and it has not been built until now because of the shortage of funds. Finally, now the money is there because the booming economy has increased subway ridership. Sheldon Silver, like any other corrupt politician, is using a bogus issue, that he wants to help the poor people on the lower East Side to get another subway line (several already run there) in order to stop everybody on the Upper East Side and in East and Spanish Harlem from having a subway.

Another poster, who defends Sheldon Silver's record in support of rent control, claims that the housing shortage in New York City is not the fault of Sheldon Silver but is the fault of the landlords who refuse to rent their apartments at all and instead warehouse them and keep them off the market.

I have no doubt that he is correct that there are 10,000 warehoused apartments in New York City, except that the real number is probably much higher.

The reason is obvious: Some old lady has been living in a three bedroom apartment for the last 54 years paying $83.42 per month and finally at long last she dies.

Then, the Communist Government of the City of New York tells you that you must rent to the next qualified applicant and you can only raise the rent by 2.5% percent plus a vacancy increase, bringing the largest legal rent you can charge to the next tenant to $87.93 per month.

So, what do you do? You simply do not rent to anybody. That apartment remains unoccupied for the next 20-30 years, while newcomers to New York City complain they cannot find affordable housing.

This situation is, of course, entirely the fault of Sheldon Silver.

They tried Communism in the Soviet Union and found that it did not work. Sheldon Silver is not a Communist. He is your typical dishonest politician who claims he is trying to help one group when actually he is helping another.

For example, he says he supports rent control so as to provide affordable housing to the poor people of the city. I live in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which is absolutely the rock bottom poorest section of New York City. We do not allow no white people to live around here. Mike Tyson grew up two blocks from my house and personally gives out free turkeys here every Thanksgiving Day.

Since Sheldon Silver says he is trying to help the poor people, you would think that the people around my house would support him. They do not. They recognize rent control for what it is, a scam to help the rich get richer. Poor people do not benefit from the rent control laws. In order to have rent control, you must have lived in the same apartment since July 1, 1971. Poor people frequently move or are often evicted. None of them have stayed in the same place since 1971. In addition, poor people are found in New York City Housing projects or in Section 8 Housing. Rent control and rent stabilization laws do not apply to those people.

Rent control and the New York City judicial system also prevents poor people from improving their lives. Every day, I meet people of color who want to improve their lives by buying a house and renting out a few apartments. However, many who have done so eventually wind up losing their money and their building. This is because after they buy the building, they rent to somebody who is sharp with the law and after the first month refuses to pay the rent. It takes a minimum of six months to a year to evict such a person, if the eviction is successful, and often it is not. I know many cases of people who have lived rent free in their apartments for years while their case has dragged through the housing courts and have never been evicted.

This again is the fault of Sheldon Silver. Almost nobody supports or agrees with the present situation, but as long as Sheldon Silver holds veto power over any meaningful legislative change, there will never be affordable housing in New York City for new residents and the Second Avenue Subway Line will never be built.

Sam Sloan

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