More Than 100 HGAR Members Traveled to Albany to Meet with Hudson Valley, NYC State Lawmakers

Approximately 110 HGAR members participated in the New York State Association of Realtors’ Annual Lobby Day program on March 27

More Than 100 HGAR Members Traveled to Albany to Meet with Hudson Valley, NYC State Lawmakers
The HGAR contingent met with state lawmakers in Hearing Room A at the New York State Legislative Office Building in Albany on March 27. PHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

ALBANY—For the second year in a row, more than 100 members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors traveled to Albany to convene with state lawmakers to discuss such topics as the state’s housing crisis, Good Cause Eviction, fairness in cooperative transactions, insurance discrimination, broker fees, etc. 

Approximately 110 HGAR members participated in the New York State Association of Realtors’ Annual Lobby Day program on March 27. After attending a NYSAR-led session, the HGAR contingent met with members of the New York City and Hudson Valley state delegations and presented the association’s legislative priorities for this session. State Assemblymen and Senators arrived at various times at Hearing Room A at the New York State Legislative Office Building to meet with Realtors during the final days of budget negotiations. Later that day, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she was seeking approval from the legislature to extend the budget deadline from April 1 to April 4. 

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors contingent was led by Legislative Council Co-Chairs Leah Caro and Matthew Engel, HGAR CEO Lynda Fernandez, Eliezer Rodriguez, HGAR’s Regional Director of Government Affairs and Alexander Roithmayr, HGAR Director of Government Affairs. 

Caro, who served as the moderator/emcee of the give-and-take dialogue between HGAR and the state legislators, said the number of lawmakers who attended the session at Hearing Room A was the largest in memory. The session provided a lively conversation and thoughtful listening by all parties about HGAR’s legislative priorities, including housing affordability and supply, co-op transparency, the telemarketing ban, and more. 

“Our elected officials literally thanked us for showing up and speaking out. Lobby Day is critical for furthering the conversation about housing in New York State; and the Realtors of HGAR demonstrated our strength on our issues for the lower Hudson Valley, the Bronx and Manhattan,” Caro said. 

She added, “We have wonderful allies in the Senate and Assembly who understand our issues and want to do what's best for our counties, its current and future residents, and its hard-working Realtors.” 

Attending her first Lobby Day as HGAR CEO, Fernandez shared, “I am very impressed with the spectacular attendance of HGAR members and leaders at Lobby Day. HGAR is committed to advocating for homeownership, including fair and affordable housing. Our members' participation in Albany and our meetings with multiple legislators reflects that commitment.” 

HGAR’s Roithmayr agreed with Caro that the rolling dialogue with almost every state representative from the HGAR market area was lively and lasted more than two hours. “Our HGAR members did their best work advocating for actual housing crisis solutions, including the First Time Home Buyers Saving Programs and Housing Access Vouchers, while educating the Senators and Assembly Members on how Good Cause Eviction would make the housing crisis worse. Time will tell how effective our messaging was, but our attendance and the attention we received from our elected officials is a testament to the power, strength and determination of Realtors, at least in our part of New York State,” he said. 

Hudson Valley lawmakers that attended the Lobby Day session with HGAR included: Senator Shelley Mayer (37th District); Senator Bill Weber (38th District); Senator Pete Harckham (40th District); and Senator James Skoufis (42nd District). Assembly Members that attended were: Assembly Member Amy Paulin (88th District); Assembly Member Gary Pretlow (89th District); Assembly Member Nader Sayegh (90th District); Assembly Member Steve Otis (91st District);Assembly Member Maryjane Shimsky (92nd District); Assembly Member Chris Burdick (93rd District); Assembly Member Matt Slater (94th District); Assembly Member Dana Levenberg (95th District); Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski (96th District); Assembly Member John McGowan (97th District); Assembly Member Aileen Gunther (100th District) and  Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson (104th District). 

The following lawmakers representing areas of New York City in the HGAR market area attended the HGAR session: Senator Luis Sepulveda (District 32); Senator Nathalia Fernandez (District 34); Assembly Member Landon Dais (AD-77); Assembly Member George Alvarez (AD-78); Assembly Member Chantel Jackson (AD-79); Assembly Member John Zaccaro (AD-80); Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (AD-81); Assembly Member Michael Benedetto (AD-82); Assembly Member Kenny Burgos (AD-85) and Assembly Member Yudelka Tapia (AD-86). 

HGAR’s Rodriguez noted that the few state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley and New York City that were not able to join HGAR in-person at Hearing Room A were e-mailed a copy of the association’s Legislative Priorities. 

Besides the state elected members that stopped by Hearing Room A, HGAR’s Crystal Hawkins-Syska and Rey Hollingsworth Falu, along with the NYSAR leadership team, met with State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.  Also, along with the NYSAR leadership that included Mike Kelly and Duncan Mackenzie, HGAR’s Fernandez, Caro, Engel, and Rodriguez met with Counsel to Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Miguelina Camilo. Rodriguez also had a separate discussion and sent HGAR’s Legislative Priorities to Senator Jamaal Bailey, (District 36); Assembly Member Yudelka Tapia, (AD-86); Assembly Member Al Taylor, (AD-71) and Assembly Member Edwards Gibbs, (AD-68). 

Editor’s Note: To access details of HGAR’s 2024 Legislative priorities, please go to

John Jordan

Editor, Real Estate In-Depth

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