Local Control, Not Hochul Control

By Phil Orenstein

We recently learned that thanks to the “suburban uprising,” Gov. Hochul pulled the housing plan from the state budget for now. It shows that when we stand up against government tyranny and make our voices heard, we can move mountains. But the fight is not over yet, especially the huge Creedmoor land redevelopment, which is still on the table!

Once again, our unethical politicians throughout New York State are lying through their teeth. Three years ago, they pulled a fast one on the people by hiding the Democrat’s Bail Reform law, the major cause of the rise in crime, in the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 NYS budget. They are at it again, conspiring to hide the monstrous Hochul Housing Compact in the 2023-24 state budget, which is currently stalled in Albany budget talks.

Gov. Hochul has been pushing a housing agenda that would create 800,000 new units over the next decade, that would undermine local control over zoning, and impose state land use regulations on suburban communities. Her plan would foster government mandated high-density housing in every community in NYS especially those near railroad stations to meet her goal.

It’s such an unpopular bipartisan issue that the two-faced lying politicians pushing the housing agenda plan to protect themselves from the wrath of their constituents by hiding it in the state budget, just as they did with the failed Bail Reform law. They will try to redeem themselves claiming the rezoning of our communities is not their fault, because they had to vote for the state budget bill to fund our schools, police, property-tax caps, and other urgent measures along with the housing compact. Budget talks are currently in limbo, and it’s uncertain when it will be voted on. The more it’s delayed the better, because the state budget always brings bad news – a cornucopia of radical progressive snow jobs at taxpayer’s expense, especially the housing boondoggle.

Now, it’s coming right into our backyards in suburban Eastern Queens, and residents are up in arms. Big developers in collusion with state government have been trying to rezone our suburban communities for the past century. Now Hochul and state lawmakers who sold us out to the big developers finally can deliver their crooked deal to destroy our bucolic residential neighborhoods locally and throughout NYS with hideous high-density housing by passing the state budget with the housing compact tucked inside. Albany will now make the rules for Bellerose, Queens Village, St. Albans, and Laurelton, Queens.

Commenting on the housing scam, County Executive Bruce Blakeman (R-Nassau) said: “You would see a suburban uprising, the likes of which you’ve never seen before, if the state tried to impose land-use regulations on communities that have had local control for over a 100 years.”

The con artists are trying to sell it to the public as affordable housing, it’s good for the environment, and will promote diversity and equity.  But it is not about any of that. It’s all about the money. It’s about reaping billions of dollars for real estate developers and the crooked politicians on their payroll including the  governor of New York. It’s an insidious plot to destroy our communities so big developers can make $ billions and pay off the legislators who do their bidding in Albany.   

The real estate industry moguls want to rezone our suburban communities to make as much money as possible from each square foot of real estate. You can’t make too much money in communities with R2 zoning or three-story buildings. They want to build as many stories as possible and bring the residential skyscrapers of Long Island City and Lefrak City to Eastern Queens while deceiving the public with grandiose visions of affordability and saving the planet.

They are salivating over the bonanza to be reaped by the redevelopment of Creedmoor campus, by turning it into Starrett City high rises and pack in as many families as possible like sardines. They could care less if it destroys the character of our beautiful suburban neighborhoods, blocks the sun, causes congestion, traffic and parking nightmares, overcrowds the schools, hospitals, and shopping centers, overloads the police, destroys the sewers, roads, and infrastructure, and so forth. It’s top-down government encroachment on our local neighborhoods without community input. New York is a one-party system, where there’s no check on people in power, thus corruption thrives. One party rules and decides everything in our lives, and just look at where this has gotten us.

New Yorkers are moving out of the state at record rates. Nearly 1/3 of New Yorkers want to make the great escape. Who’s going to fill the vacancies in Hochul’s 800,000 new housing units, now that millions will be fleeing the Empire State in the next 10 years? No one’s going to be left to fill the vacancies except for the illegal migrants flooding over our border and into New York City with its open door sanctuary policies. The real estate developers and progressive politicians will eagerly welcome them with the help of magnanimous city and state contracts at taxpayer expense.

This is not a partisan issue. It affects us all. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, wealthy, middle class, or poor, black, white, Asian, Indian, or Caribbean, we’re all in this together. One-party big government is screwing us all equally. It’s time to get involved. Those who try to say they’re not into politics will see the consequences of their apathy unfolding in their own backyards. Remember Plato’s dictum, that if you’re too smart to participate in politics, you will be penalized by being governed by fools.

Don’t waste a moment. Get involved, get active. Get out, get registered, and vote the fools out. Take back control of our own neighborhoods. Fight the one-party system with your votes for two parties with real checks and balances. Come to our May 4th club meeting and hear from the experts about the Hochul housing debacle, and bring your friends. Call, write, email, and flood the phone lines of your State Assemblyman and State Senator today, and demand that they vote down the state budget and get rid of Hochul housing. Don’t delay, while the budget talks are ongoing, we can save our communities, and our right to Local Control, Not Hochul Control!

Phil Orenstein is the president of the Queens Village Republican Club. Established in 1875, it is America’s oldest Republican Club  www.QVGOP.org. Historian, Jerry Matacotta, founder of acclaimed History Seminar Series was the advisor for this article.

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