Letters to the Editor, July 6

Thank you, Al Doyle

As a City Council member, I have had the privilege of working with tenant associations across my district, from 14th to 97th Streets.  Of course, I have had a special relationship with the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Tenants Association (TA). This is not only because I have lived in this community my whole life, but also because of the dedication, foresight and energy of the TA, particularly its president, Al Doyle.
Al first became president of the TA more than two decades ago.  In that time, he led a community of approximately 25,000 New Yorkers through mostly periods of calm, but more recently, a fair amount of volatility and uncertainty. Most people probably become president of their TA expecting to add their voice to quality of life issues and negotiations with management.

Indeed, Al Doyle was a specialist in those issues – from MCIs to more basic tenant concerns – for years under MetLife’s benevolent ownership.

When news broke that MetLife had put the property up for sale, the response could easily had been chaotic and unorganized.  Instead, under Al’s leadership, the community rallied together, organizing a multi-billion dollar tenant-backed bid to buy the property and to preserve our long-term stability and affordability.

And when Tishman Speyer came in, Al fought tirelessly against unscrupulous practices by management to drive out long-time, perfectly legitimate rent-stabilized neighbors.

Throughout years of uncertainty, Al has maintained a calm sense of order. This is no small feat.

Never deterred, Al and his committed colleagues on the TA have organized our community once again in support of their partnership with Brookfield Asset Management. Again, they seek to defend the character of this community into the future. In fact, a recent JP Morgan report acknowledged that the TA/Brookfield partnership was in a very strong position to be successful.

On behalf of all of my neighbors in ST/PCV, and rent-stabilized tenants across the city, we owe Al a debt of gratitude for his years as president of the TA. He has been a tireless advocate for affordable housing, and has helped to set new standards for how rent-stabilized tenants can take control of their own destiny.

And on a personal note, Al has been a close friend and advisor to me. I first met Al at the old Jefferson Democratic Club headquarters, next to Ess-a-Bagel, when I was in high school. Over more than 20 years, I have always looked to him for his insights, and particularly his judgment, when it comes to difficult issues affecting Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper.

I pride myself in knowing our neighborhood backwards and forwards, but I’ve got nothing on Al Doyle.
He is a pleasure to work with, and a model for how any leader should act: He is calm, thoughtful, and approaches decisions without haste.

I will miss Al Doyle’s leadership, though I am comforted by the fact that he is staying on as a member of the board of directors. We are in very capable hands with John Marsh as the new president and Susan
Steinberg as the chair – two people with a deep commitment to Peter Cooper and Stuyvesant Town – and they stand ready to defend the interests of their neighbors.

Al, thank you. Please know that I am here to assist you and the new officers in any way I can.

Dan Garodnick, PCV
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