The Real Deal: “Group protests Cuomo agenda at REBNY’s 115th banquet”


The Real Estate Board of New York’s annual banquet — the most high-profile event of the year for the industry — last night was marred by the shouts of protesters.

A group of about 30 people inside the New York Hilton, where the glitzy event was being held, chanted: “Hey you millionaires, pay your fair share!”

Before being escorted off the property by hotel staff, the protesters handed out fliers stating their opposition to the Committee to Save New York, a group of business leaders formed in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign to oppose tax increases, reduce the size of government and reform Medicaid and pensions for public employees.

Donors to the committee include a number of prominent real estate figures, including Tishman Speyer Properties and the Durst Organization. Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer is the co-chair of the committee’s board of directors, which also includes REBNY President Steven Spinola and REBNY Chairman Mary Ann Tighe. Tighe, Spinola, Rob Speyer and Douglas Durst all attended the banquet. Cuomo, the Durst Organization and Speyer were not immediately available for comment.

The Committee to Save New York is “a farce,” said protester Pamela Brown, who is a member of East Harlem-based Community Voices Heard, a group that works with low-income families in organizing campaigns to influence policy. “Cuomo is in bed with REBNY, but we know his trickery.”


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