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ASSEMBLY MEMBER AND CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC ADVOCATE MICHAEL BLAKE ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING ANNOUNCEMENT OF FEDERAL MONITOR OF NYCHA

In a “Sad Day in NYC History”, Public Advocate Candidate Demands Immediate Release of Federal, City, and State Funding for Housing Improvements, and Release of All Lead Paint Findings

January 31, 2019

New York, NY -- New York State Assembly Member and NYC Public Advocate candidate Michael Blake released the following statement in response to Thursday’s announcement of HUD oversight of the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA):

“It’s a sad day in New York City history when its government fails to protect the rights of NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents to live in safe and decent housing conditions. Today’s announcement that a federal monitor is necessary to step in and overhaul NYCHA’s management, address its negligence, and stop its lies and incompetence is simply heartbreaking - particularly for those who have lived through abhorrent conditions for years.

Like all New Yorkers, NYCHA residents deserve heat, hot water, and sanitary living conditions. Rats, mold, and illness caused by exposure to toxic lead paint is not just unacceptable, it should be criminal. Those leaders who not only allowed NYCHA to deteriorate, but attempt to hide the truth, must be held accountable for the suffering experienced by our fellow New Yorkers and removed from their positions.

Today’s announcement provides a fresh opportunity for the city, state, and federal government to improve NYCHA’s living conditions. Therefore, we demand a significant amount of federal and state funding be allocated to remedy the situation. We also demand that Mayor de Blasio release the entire report on lead paint findings. We need independent leadership who will put the basic human rights of NYCHA residents first.

I testified before Judge Pauley at a hearing on September 26th and demanded action. I secured crucial funding for renovations and demanded action. And I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Tenant Association Presidents across our city and demanded action.

Today - united - we are demanding action.

The appointment of a federal monitor is an unimaginable step, but we have no choice but to accept it and move forward. This is a humanitarian crisis, and we must come together as one New York. We are not here to protect the jobs of those who caused the problem, we are here to demand action For The People of New York City.”

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New York State Assembly Member and Candidate for New York City Public Advocate Michael Alexander Blake has been elected to represent the 79th District in The Bronx for a third term. Born and raised in The Bronx to Jamaican Immigrants, Blake has helped lead the efforts to create the first and only statewide My Brother’s Keeper education program in the country and helped lead the charge to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility.

As a member of the Housing committee, he has fought to increase funding for New York City public housing and been a consistent advocate for affordable housing, rent stabilization and pushing back against gentrification. Blake has championed legislation for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and fought for democracy reform throughout the State of New York and the country.

Previously, Blake served as Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama. He has helped expand the electorate nationwide through his work in President Obama’s campaigns and in his current role as one of the Democratic National Committee Vice Chairs. Blake is also a lay minister, a Rodel Fellow in the Aspen Institute and a former Harvard Institute of Politics Resident Fellow.