East Harlem for sale, Part II: City Council Speaker collects $172,000 from the real estate industry

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

East Harlem is being invaded by real estate developers…and several politicians are helping them.

Incredibly, the Speaker of the New York City Council appears to be on their payroll.

When she first ran for City Council, the core pledge of Melissa Mark-Viverito was to “stop the gentrification” of East Harlem, and save the area from “greedy developers.” But from the moment she acquired the Council speakership, Viverito has gone on a real estate rampage.

From 2005 until 2013 – for eight long years – she received only $2,800 from real estate developers. Then from December 2013 through 2016 – in less than three years – Viverito collected a whopping $172,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO THOUSAND) from real estate developers, investors and contractors !

In the first eight years of her political career, less than 1 percent (0.88) of her campaign funds came from real estate sources…but over the past three years, over 20 percent of her “donations” are coming from real estate developers.

According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), she currently has at least 77 real estate contributors…each one “donating” an average of $2,233 to her campaign committee.

Rob Speyer, Chairman of REBNY, and a very happy Viverito

Nine of these donors are on the Board of Governors, and four sit on the Executive Committee, of the Real Estate Board of New York – REBNY – the most powerful real estate organization in the entire state. Collectively, these REBNY men (all of them were men) delivered $59,000 to Viverito’s campaign treasury.


The timing of the REBNY relationship is a shocking lesson in city politics. It is also a study in human character.

Viverito became Council Speaker on January 8, 2014.

Within weeks, on January 28, she met with the top REBNY executives: Stephen Spinola (President) and John Doyle (Vice President).      

The very next day, on January 29, she accepted a $5,000 campaign contribution (half of it bundled) from billionaire developer David Lichtenstein, who sits on the REBNY Board of Governors.

Within one week of this Jan. 28 meeting, Viverito had received $22,500 from real estate developers…78 percent of it from members of REBNY.

Immediately after the January 28 meeting, REBNY spokesman Jamie McShane told the press that the meeting between Viverito and the REBNY execs had been “very issue-oriented.” Apparently, the most urgent issue was how to get an overnight “donation” from a real estate billionaire, and how to receive $22,500 within one week.


After the shotgun wedding of Viverito and REBNY, the Speaker became part of the real estate social scene.

She always attends the “Biggest Party of the Year” in New York real estate, and takes photos with the heavyweights. This includes the Chairman of REBNY, Rob Speyer…who is also the President and CEO of Tishman Speyer.

Viverito also socializes with John Banks III, the current President of REBNY.

Melissa with John Banks III, President of REBNY


Melissa Mark-Viverito is clearly comfortable with REBNY and the real estate developers of New York.

Developers are not inherently evil…but they’re not charitable organizations, either. They are all business people, and they all want something. For instance David Lichtenstein, the REBNY billionaire who shot-gunned $5,000 into Viverito’s account, wants to build “luxury residential buildings in Manhattan.”

Bruce J. Ratner, another member of REBNY, wants to ram three 500-foot luxury residential towers into East Harlem, despite years of community opposition.

Steven Witkoff, also a REBNY member, funneled $19,900 to Viverito. Then he siphoned $200 million away from East Harlem through the federal EB-5 program…and will now want it all, as personal profit.

This will be discussed and analyzed tomorrow, in Part III of our “East Harlem for sale” series.

In the meantime, since numbers don’t lie, here is the record of Viverito “donations” from the real estate industry, from November 2005 through May 2016. I organized the list alphabetically.

Almost all of them were from real estate developers – either directly or bundled.


For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it Now

Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos</span   

10 Comments on “East Harlem for sale, Part II: City Council Speaker collects $172,000 from the real estate industry

  1. Pingback: Stop the gentrification of East Harlem! | WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

  2. This the investigative journalism we need.


    Thank you, Victor.



  3. Wow! Esta senorita mark no se donde salio ese hombre se vendio a los zionistas de Israel. Esta supuesta independentista que ninca vivio en el barrio para ver como vive nosotros. Vendida todavia tengo las grabs jones del programs que genial en wbaifm antes de 180 grade de cam bio. Es verdad el poder dana


  4. They call this lady the Diaspora Leader, which she is not. Small wonder why I just cannot support Melissa, nor get along with her, although I’ve lamented that we could not establish a friendship. but I cannot be friends with someone who is selling us out. Melissa should walk around with a yellow construction-workers hat on her gentrifying head!


  5. Pingback: November 2016 East Harlem News

  6. Pingback: East Harlem for sale, Part III: A tale of two cities | WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

  7. For several years a group I have been involved with has tried to build a 130 room hotel on E 123 St & Park Avenue. We guaranteed that 100% of the permanent hotel jobs (approx. 80) would be local, we guaranteed that at least 50% of the construction workers would be local. We needed to purchase an adjacent lot 20’x100′ to allow us a footprint of 60’x100′ and we offered to pay market price. We purposely avoided a ‘joint development’ agreement because the other developers would not allow us to guarantee that the residents would get the jobs. The council member for the 8th CD thought it was a great idea, but wanted the community to participate in the process. That is what we wanted…..but, 5 yrs later, we are still waiting for approval to purchase the city owned lot. I guess I should have agreed to donate campaign funds to the Council Member. Silly me…

    Hey Henry, it’s been a long time!

    It’s great to hear from you.

    Regarding politics & politicians…the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Nos vemos otra vez,


  8. Pingback: A master plan for gentrifying El Barrio, NYC… | In The Mix

  9. the devil & his people are,in full effect as it is written.I’ve been saying it for years that the evil white race are satans people.Wake Upppp!! black & brown they are on a mission to try to destroy our cultures then our lives!! this is what happens when you don’t follow The most High Jesus Christ & his people .the 12tribes of israel God’s chosen.. the white man is very weak,afraid,& very dangerous. I pray for all in this evil war that we can win if you ask & help Our Lord fight this battle like he fought & died to save your human lives!! I’m ready to fight for my King Jesus!! the most betrayed black man of exisistance!!are,you. Que Dios me los bendigas a todos !!no more silence speak from you souls & not from your lies Amen!!


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