Tenants rallied outside 1 Centre Street on Thursday (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Rent stabilized tenants geared up for the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board vote at a rally before the board’s first public meeting of the year this past Thursday morning. Encouraged by a recent ruling by the New York Supreme Court, tenant advocates pushed for a rent rollback.
“As Judge Debra James ruled in her courtroom on Tuesday, the RGB must consider tenant affordability, along with landlord expenses, income and profit,” said Anne Cunningham, a tenant of a residential hotel on the Upper West Side who has been coming to RGB-related housings rights protests for more than 30 years. “And when the RGB votes, they must consider a rent rollback for tenants as a fair and reasonable rent adjustment.”
On Monday, a court ruled that the family of Mark Chanko, a former resident of Stuyvesant Town whose death in 2011 after being hit by a truck was filmed for the show “NY Med,” couldn’t have unlimited access to the footage.
The Chankos had hoped to get access to over 50 minutes of footage, which had been used for a four-minute long segment of one episode of the ABC reality mini-series. That episode featured Chanko’s treatment in his final moments, including his death. The Chankos had argued the footage should be turned over to them, because they consider it part of Mark’s medical records.
The family sued after the show aired in 2016 since the footage of Chanko was taken without his or his family’s knowledge or permission. Chanko was shown with his face blurred and his voice altered. However, his widow, Anita, recognized him immediately.
Arguments were heard last Wednesday, and according to Ken Chanko, Mark’s son, who also lives in Stuyvesant Town, both the attorney for ABC and the hospital, New York Presbyterian, argued that the footage should remain sealed. ABC is no longer a defendant in the ongoing litigation alleging breach of patient privacy which is now just against NY Presbyterian and the elder Chanko’s physician, Sebastian Schubl.