By Sung Soo Kim, founder, Small Business Congress
Normally, the small business advocates would call upon all New Yorkers to put aside the canned election political rhetoric and instead scrutinize the records, qualifications, public statements and past actions of the candidates. There is no time for this proper analysis, but one candidate’s shameful record on dealing with the small business crisis and being influenced by a lobby must be exposed to the voters, especially in the immigrant community.
We carefully reviewed public advocate candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito’s (MMV) record and actions as speaker on addressing the specific crisis of the closings of long established small businesses. Also examined were her actions to address the anti-democratic rigging by a lobby taking place in the speaker’s office for over four years.
Nobody is more qualified to make this assessment than the small business advocates who have been fighting for justice for decades. The small businesses themselves wrote the original legislation (Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Jobs Survival Act ) giving rights to businesses to survive when their leases expired and then advocated for over 30 years to get it passed.
We know from firsthand experience who is a true progressive and friend of small business and who has been bought off to stop our bill and deny rights to small business owners. We know when we receive justice and fair treatment at City Hall and when justice is denied by a rigged system. Our warning to voters to not vote for MMV is based solely upon the true record of MMV as speaker on our crisis.
Furthermore, we have an obligation to desperate small business owners and their employees as well as every New Yorker who loves their neighborhoods to be truthful and thorough on our assessment of which candidate would be the worst choice as PA to be the voice for the voiceless. MMV’s record proves without any reservations that she is the worst possible candidate to be PA and would disgrace the office by secretly continuing her loyalty to serve a lobby and not the people in need of a voice and justice from their government.
We call upon all other candidates to carefully read the details of MMV’s record on the small business crisis and the rigging by a lobby using the speaker’s office. MMV is the only speaker in 30 years to never hold a hearing on the Jobs Survival Act, nor any legislation giving business owners rights when their leases expire!
The sole justification given by MMV for never holding a hearing on the Jobs Survival Act has been, “my legal counsel advised against any hearing because the bill was unconstitutional and would be challenged in court.” What was her justification for making no effort to seek a solution to save a single small business or job while she was speaker? Ask her! MMV touts her success in bringing people together to create solutions to problems, but she did a shameful and disgraceful job in using the speaker’s office to fight against any real solution to save small businesses. Ask her these questions in public.