Hillary Clinton Comes to Starrett City, Brooklyn: On Monday 28th July at 10:30A.M.

Hillary Clinton has been somewhat scarce since the end of the democratic presidential primary, and that’s expected, I guess. After all, she had a hard fought primary and a tough and emotional loss. As an ex-candidate who lost, I can vouch for the sense of let down and failure after a political race. It“aint” easy folks. It can be very deflating. It’s like “Preparation-H” for one’s ego and self esteem. People who are courageous enough to run for public office need to be commended and applauded, more so than ridiculed. Most people underestimate how tough it is to run for public office.

Well, it has been almost two months since the primary season ended, and I believe that Mrs. Clinton will be returning to the limelight soon enough. On Monday morning (10:30a.m.) of 28th July, she will be visiting Starrett City, Brooklyn. And for those of you not familiar with the ancillary issue, let me tell you that the tens of thousands of tenants, who live in this large housing complex, have been nervously dealing with a landlord intent on selling the sprawling property to some speculators. The future is still precarious for these folks.

For some time now Congressman Ed Towns, Councilmember Charles Barron, Senator John Sampson, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other elected officials, have been battling this issue, in hope of stopping any sale whereby the future tenancy of the residents aren’t guaranteed in a positive way. Starrett City -which is the largest affordable housing development in the nation- was put on the auction block in 2006. HUD and other state and city housing agencies successfully blocked the sale then.

Last Wednesday 23rd July, 2008, the House of Representatives passed legislation H.R.3221 which moves in the direction of securing the affordability status of the development. The bill was introduced by congressman Ed Towns. It culminated almost two years of work on this situation. Mrs. Clinton will be in Starrett City to articulate (amongst other things) her commitment to affordable housing initiatives. Word is that she will also endorse congressman Towns for re-election; but that will be at another event in the near future. Towns is presently facing a spirited challenge from activist Kevin Powell for Brooklyn’s 10th congressional district. The primary election will be held on Tuesday 9th September, 2008.

I have decided to attach the press release of this event for your further edification:



Thursday, 24thJuly, 2008 (202) 420-8040.

SAVE STARRETT CITY: Towns joined by SENATOR CLINTON at PRESS CONFERENCE to preserve affordable housing.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns will be joined by Senator Hillary Clinton and other elected representatives at a press conference to highlight the importance of maintaining the affordability of Starrett City and advancing legislation to address this important issue. The press conference will be held on Monday, July 28th at 10:30 AM at The Great Lawn on Pennsylvania Avenue between Freeport Loop and Schroeders Avenue (across from HSBC Bank). Members of the press are encouraged to begin set up at 10:00 AM.

“I am concerned that so many Brooklyn families are stressed and stretched during these turbulent economic times of record high prices for everything from gas to food and rising unemployment,” said Congressman Towns. “With a shortage of affordable housing in Brooklyn, it is urgent now more than ever that we preserve the affordability of Starrett City because tenants deserve protections like the ones extended to homeowners to safeguard against the ills of our struggling housing market and economy.”

Congressman Towns, along with his Democratic colleagues from New York, voted to pass HR 3221, which will enable Starrett City, the nation's largest affordable housing development, to remain affordable. Congressman Towns, Senator Schumer, Senator Hillary Clinton and a host of other officials at the federal, state and city level have been working to preserve the affordability of Starrett City since it was put on the auction block in late 2006. After the initial purchase of Starrett was blocked by HUD and other state and city housing agencies twice last year amid a great deal of public acrimony, the current owners began working with HUD, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the NYS Housing Finance Agency and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development on a plan that would allow the current owners to sell the property to a preservation purchaser under a pre-agreed framework.

On Wednesday, July 23rd H.R. 3221, originally introduced by Rep. Towns, passed on the House floor by a vote of 272- 152. The bill creates the conditions necessary for purchasers of Starrett City to secure the long-term financing necessary to purchase the property, therefore, maintaining the affordability of the units.


“The passage of this bill represents a significant step in the right direction, but the battle is not over until the bright vision of Starrett City’s future is a reality,” said Rep. Towns. “I am focused on that and will remain committed to assure that this bill is signed into law.”