This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Vito Battista, candidate for Mayor under the United Taxpayers Party, answers questions about immigration and housing.
Marvin Sleeper hosts.
Panelists: Ruth Corsnick, Jim Farrell, Reardon Roate, Mike Spielman, and Burt Kibrick.
The United Taxpayers Party stands for lower taxes, elimination of waste and inefficiency, and proper planning of New York City. Abolishing NYC Housing Authority. Residency laws. Elimination of soft payroll jobs and unnecessary services, such as judges' secretaries. Public housing has created a ghetto situation. Police protection is sent to public housing instead of to his neighborhood. Instead of public housing, buildings should be run as co-ops to engender a sense of ownership. Housing projects are slums the day they're built: "because some of the people that you're putting in there aren't even housebroken." It's wrong to build public housing in places where private housing could be built. A lot of the slums in the city are Wagner's fault. There's nothing wrong with living in a railroad flat. Reduce the sales tax, raise salaries. Wiping out the housing authority would lessen the communist influence. The New York press has reported that there are card carrying communist party members in public housing. Preussy report. Communists living on Park Avenue are paying for their membership with their own money, not with subsidized money from the government. The whole concept of public housing is wrong; the slums that exist in the city are the result of the exploitation of minorities by absentee landlords, done with the acquiescence of the housing authority. What is the alternative to La Guardia's residency laws? Shakey-Brown-Isaacson bill.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 72059
Municipal archives id: LT7688
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
What is the United taxpayers party how poor is our city planning what is your party stand on the private housing by still one of the city's subway problems mayor Wagner's fault for the answers to these and other questions listen now to your study stations campus press conference and there's transcribed discussion the editors of college newspapers question a prominent personality in the news in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission W N Y C is granting equal time to each of the legally qualified candidates for mayor in the forthcoming election the opinions expressed on this program are those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this station Marvins labor award winning reporter and columnist for The New York Journal American is the moderator now to introduce the panel and tonight's guest here is Mr Slater Good evening and welcome to another edition of campus press conference our guest tonight is Mr video peep the Teesta candidate for mayor on the United taxpayer's party ticket Mr Potato has never held public office before he is an architect a city planner and he's also been in this political year one of the severest critics of our city administration so let's find out specifically what he thinks is wrong with the way our town is run and how he could make it right if elected here to interview Mr Battista or our campus press conference report is Ruth Corps neck of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Jim Farrow of the Fordham lexigram ridden row at Columbia College Mike Spielman of the C.C.N.Y. campus and Berkshire brick of the N.Y.U. square journal and what about the first question from you Mike Spillane Mr Batiste What does the United taxpayer's party stand for the United taxpayers party stands for. Lower taxes all the intelligent distribution of the tax dollars in running local city government the elimination of waste the elimination are in a Christian thing and the proper planning of our communally in order to make New York City a better place to live work play into business and ours take them one by one lower taxes specifically what you mean by lower taxes for the city lower taxes I mean by abolishing the New York City Housing Authority and sell it back to private enterprise and that way we'll be able to put the public housing back on a tax rolls Number two we are having a two years residence law for evening recipients number three the proper city planning which would eliminate waste number for the elimination of soft payroll jobs and elimination of unnecessary services in a city arc such as judges secretaries will receive twelve thousand dollars a year and do no work for except sign the checks. Now let's get to the City Housing Authority Why do you think the City Housing Authority wastes money and how do you think putting it under private enterprise would save money I think the New York City Housing Authority has been an experiment we've had the experiment of twenty five years and we've discovered that public housing is not the solution to our housing problems that the New York City Housing Authority in its planning of these projects has created nothing but social racial economic ghettos it has done exactly the opposite I what we think in terms of integration question from Jim Fassel was there in your campaigns your you have advocated the control of rents and how can the use that you point out yourself with a private landlord cannot afford to provide low cost housing at the rentals at their present ceiling Jim that if we abolish the City Housing Authority who is there to provide services are in the house we want to point out you've mentioned about rents I think that's a state issue and at this time I would like to discuss local problems bringing this back to the city sure Namely if you abolish the City Housing Authority who is there to provide low cost low rent housing for these people out of the very minor and these these projects could be sold back as cooperatives to the people in the bellies of selves and since you buy everything on time refrigerators and automobiles with a few brownies or a few dollars a week or a month whatever the financial range is could be made over a twenty year period they could buy into these projects and it could be cooperatives and when the income therefore be much lower than the rent they're paying to the city now the income to the city not only can I come out of the owners get operative owners as cooperative owners these people could could good very well a price likely more and the City of New York would gain in taxes because if you go around to these low cost housing projects you will find better automobiles and you and I drive slightly more than one hundred percent rents there are now coming right city and that's where they will own the property and it would be their own. Watchmen their own property owners right now there's no sense of responsibility these projects are nothing more than ghettos socially and racially and economically I think they've been poorly planned from the original concept they were should not have been pleasant in the manner in which their record was on your criticism is not always fair planning or the final results it's it's it's planning planning is one of the basic criticism and another one is the question our government is in a housing field we should get government out of business well you mentioned a get out situation as public housing is created to tie public housing in a way to the youth problems now in New York City I think I think the some of the problems that the youth ran and you'll find there in good deal is probably counting the crime rate is very high and in fact are spoken to many police officers and they told me that we can't give you policemen up in our area where I live and I pay a thousand dollars in real estate tax to get police protection because after Senate Republicans and now you say a little if they pay a little more as a and own that as a cooperative apartment you know what do you mean by a little more for people who are paying forty fifty dollars a month rent Well maybe a few dollars more well I know you've got a dollars maybe five dollars a month over a period of twenty years thirty years this whole thing of buying a downpayment of these buildings could be easily fine is another thing I might argue that since this public housing has been arrested many years ago and there's an inflation now that really these people would divine into something very economically because the tax dollar today is worth a lot less That was ten years ago so really they would be getting a break and the same time the same in Iraq would get our business I'm interested in getting the city of New York out of the housing business because they are created situations which are inside of all. Rearden row it is about age two you mention that selling the public houses with the rhythm of an hard core of undesirable tenants just what are the owners are able to enhance now in the city housing Well the undesirable tenants there are I don't think they're under zero but here's what they're hung up on a view of economics what they've done now recently concentrated introduce one dollar hundreds of people who are depressed economically and because they're not well and they can never help themselves because they have nobody in the project to even look to as a god because once a person is economically able to rise above themselves he must get out of this project and I was resolved after ten years of running a public housing project you have a concentration of people in either welfare or in the press which awaken which is un-American which is un-American because in my old neighborhood where I live in the bush exaction we had three families in six where we houses you weren't compelled to live with people on the one social racial economic set up not only that but if you made more money you were compelled to leave as a result you had somebody to to look up to you had somebody in which you could have been inspired by the success of the person next door that does not exist in public housing and because they're all there under there ARE made it socialistic to drive and I don't think it's a good good thing we've got over twenty five years and we've seen that it's failed a question for my experiment on Mr Batiste How will turning these projects into co-ops remove the slum problem from our city if people have to wait twenty years until they can own the property and then presumably go on paying what they're paying now how is this going to solve our farm slum problems it's all a call what you call a slum now and yes I manage public housing projects there slums to date are built because some of the people that you put in an air even house broken. Question from Burt Kaepernick work the public cows are designed to eat lemonade the people living in what to most decent people would seem a part of the knowledge that I want to tell you something it's all according what your definition of a slump is all I can tell you is this I'm in favor of eliminating slums on those buildings or cannot be rehabilitated anymore but I'm turning or it's not right to go ahead and build public housing on roll in a birth through the city where private property where private housing could be built another thing of course not of slums do you know that you're slums in a city New York a result of the Wagner ministration and his commission of housing compelling because a lot of these properties up in New York the people I don't aren't going to support the inspectors who get paid off and that's why you have slums there's nothing wrong with living in Iraq right because I lived in a railroad flat and I can tell you that living in a railroad track didn't make me a bad citizen Well how would you remedy this in the Department of Buildings and there's apartment buildings number one I would see that there's several service workers got a decent salary and you had top professional inspectors people were professional licenses and people were a little integrity and a little more ality and the only way you can get that is by giving decent wages the city New York today does not give decent wages to employees because they are catering to the low economic levels and civil service has been hard because the tax dollar is not properly distributed among the monkey civil servants of the community well I notice that one of your platforms in your campaign is you want to reduce the three three percent city sales tax if you're going to reduce the sales taxes who's is one of our biggest money produces in the city to pay our yearly expense budget and it's going to increase our ease. How are you going to get I explained I was a budget list of a sleeper I think I explained before that if you were volage the New York City Housing Authority and if you get a residence lawyer and you eliminate all the payroll jobs and you don't make all the city planning blunders that you're making and if you don't stop if you don't permit the Triborough Bridge it's are you condemning more homes every year and taking more taxable property off the tax rolls which the small taxpayer the small home owner was paying you can start reducing this three percent sales tax not overnight you can go from three to two and from two to one but the way things are set up now this thing my got the five percent someday in fact the board wiser report which the Mayor Wagner as. Has set up made a report which stated that the only way they're going they see the conditions of the city New York is every city income tax and otherwise they're looking for more taxes not for less taxes my experiment Mr Batiste in the campaign bulletin that you circulate you say that in wiping out the New York City Housing Authority this would wipe out communist influence in the C. Ha Now do you believe that the C H A is under communist influence what I read in the press is true and I have great reason to believe the press it has been proven conclusively that there are people who had membership cards in a communist party living honoree in these public housing projects and if that's true I think you should have a permit Do you believe that they're. Caught holding members of the Communist Party in the housing projects today. I said Miss the sleeper that according to The New York Press reports that have been people who held cards in a communist party that many public housing projects I'm only quoting to you what I read and I didn't there's no crime in is that what you would say in the Authority itself I don't know why even in those papers mention it there was communist influence in the in the S.R.D. itself in fact the mayor of the city New York now and I understand is is going to try to to to to appoint all new members because of the the proof the report the process reports of Sanjay that in essence the New York Daily News. Expos├⌐ Of this of this housing mythology very characteristic pertains to your claim that there are communists living in the public housing you know when to admit that there are probably just as many communists living right on Park Avenue yes but there is this difference of people on park and you are paying for themselves not what subsidies of the government funds but public housing is receiving the tax dollar and I think we don't want to have anybody taken advantage of getting help from us receiving our tax dollars and then be ungrateful by belonging to the Communist Party which someday might ride well rulers. Question from record next almost a pretty surreal or its that the saying I'm sorry is the reinforced as far as maintaining higher standards of profit having and yet you want to set the table have hands off completely as far as financial administration of public housing I believe that is which as you know the telling is there is I think that where I was the whole concept of conflict housing was wrong we've had this experiment for twenty five years and you see it doesn't work and otherwise I say there's that a good many the slums are exactly now in Manhattan and other parts of the city are the result not because the buildings themselves became stronger became slums because the exploitation of minorities by some of these absentee landlords and they'd been gone with the acquiescence of the housing and buildings department because of the house in the palm of houses and buildings wouldn't inspectors would go there and and put violations on because of the the occupancy law and one argue you wouldn't have this situation you want to have as many slums and nobody's been able to tell me what a swell is I say that you it's as typical it makes slums not the buildings. You know I personally would rather live if you want to know my reaction to a low cost housing I would rather live in a in a railroad flat in a bush Ricks action then live in a low cost housing project on park until I've lived in a I lived in a r