Progressive Agenda ‘On Hold’

ALBANY—Reproductive rights? Tenant protections? Greater access to health care? Forget about it this year, and all bets are off for next year.
“For the broader progressive agenda, insofar as the Democrats have lost their majority, it’s on hold,” said Gabriel Sayegh, a project director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
His group’s major legislative priority–loosening drug laws to allow more non-violent offenders to attend drug treatment programs instead of prison–already passed in this year’s budget. Sayegh considers himself lucky. His things passed. Here are the sentiments of someone whose priorities didn’t.
“Two corrupt politicians made a deal with the real estate lobby and their cronies in the Republican Senate conference to hijack the tenant agenda just as we were on the verge of major legislative reform to strengthen the rent laws and preserve affordable housing,” said Mike McKee, treasurer of the Tenants PAC, in a reserved performance (considering he spent his morning shouting “voters, not donors” outside the office of Pedro Esada Jr.