After the people of New York swept a blue wave of progressive Democrats into the state senate during the 2018 midterm elections, every newly-elected senator from New York City seemed to be talking about tenants’ rights and reforming the state’s outdated rent-stabilization system.

The energized freshman senate crew, which includes Zellnor Myrie, Alessandra Biaggi and Julia Salazar, is determined to strengthen New York’s 70-year-old rent laws. On Jan. 9, the Democrats took control of the senate for the first time since 2009, when they only held on to a slim majority for a year. Before that, the Demoracts spent 43 years in the minority.

“The real estate industry has been living large because of gaping loopholes they’ve opened up in the rent-regulation system,” said Michael Gianaris, a state senator from western Queens who chairs the chamber’s Democratic conference. “And now there’s a majority in the senate that wants to change that for the first time in 20 or 30 years.”

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