Listen to Jeremiah Moss on WNYC Talking About #SaveNYC and Vanishing New York
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The torrent of media coverage for the #SaveNYC campaign notched another huge get. Movement founder, and blogger extraordinaire Jeremiah Moss appeared on the “Brian Lehrer Show” yesterday. The candid, twenty-minute discussion was a great primer for the current commercial climate, and how the little guy is being forced from the Five Boroughs. It was also a chance to hear the voice of the enigmatic Moss, a self-proclaimed Batman to the real estate woes of our Gotham.
Host Brian Lehrer walked through the specifics of #SaveNYC and fielded responses from listeners.
Two callers evoked the tired retort that the city is always changing. That this is simply evolution and we should just roll over and accept it. The response was that the current climate is based in hyper-gentrification. Change at such an accelerated rate that nothing but chain stores can afford. “Cities change, but there was always equilibrium,” Moss noted. “Small businesses and immigrants can’t even get a foothold now.”
But it was a caller named Ben – owner of four Brooklyn bars – who made an excellent point. Retail failure after failure isn’t really progress. It’s simply high turnover that benefits no one but landlords.
Ultimately the goal of the discussion, and #SaveNYC as a whole, is passage of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. The long-languishing bill would allow small businesses to negotiate “fair” rent renewals with landlords, presumably to lower exhorbitant increases. If there is an impasse, there would be non-binding mediation. Sixteen councilmembers are reportedly backing the measure, but ten are still needed for a majority (which could still be vetoed).