NYC lobbyists still make bank despite COCID-19 epidemic

The Big Apple’s lobbying industry proved nearly epidemic-proof last year, despite the outbreak of COVID-19 that sabotaged in New York City, new records show.

For months in 2020, much of the city’s lock was closed, with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and city council holding virtual meetings and hearings during the epidemic instead.

But well-connected, high-powered lobbyists still found a way to rake in bundles of cash to entice city halls and councils for their customers.

According to a new City Locker report, lobbyists recorded $ 106.34 million in 2020 – some less than $ 113.2 million in compensation – during the pre-2019 epidemic.

Trailing the pack for the fourth consecutive year, Suri was Kashir’s lobbying firm – taking in $ 14.164 million, roughly matching the $ 14.3 million earned in pre-pandemic 2019.

A government watchman was not surprised.

“Experienced, hot-wired lobbyists still get their phone calls back. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group said that lobbyists are more important than ever from a client’s perspective.

“Top, connected lobbyists can still wipe out their influence and charge customers big bucks,” Horner said.

Suri Kasir’s 32-member firm pressured the mayor and council to provide COVID-19 relief to the hard-hitting restaurant and hotel industries. Her clients include ROAR – Relief for the Restaurant Industry and the Hotel Association of NYC, which is attempting to close the city and remove property taxes and interest fees on hotels that do not generate revenue.

Kasir’s well-heeled client list also includes Northwell Health, Columbia Presbyterian and Mount Sinai Hospital Systems. Northwell was pushing for a controversial proposal to expand its Lenox Hill Hospital on the High East Side, which faces neighboring protests.

The firm’s table of customers last year also included Target Corporation, T-Mobile USA, IF Cornerstone, which was part of the vacant Long Island City waterfront property, where Amazon’s headquarters project was located. Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, South Street Seaport, Sotheby’s, Columbia University, Disney Company and real estate powerhouse Two Trees Management Related Company, SL Green Realty and Silverstein Properties; Archeology of NY, Google, Anti-Horse Carriage Group NY-CLASS, etc.

“We are happy to continue to be a leading advocate in New York City, and are proud to support our clients as they work to emerge from the epidemic and rebuild New York,” said Kashir.

“It was a very difficult year. It was a year from hell. My clients were struggling to deal with COVID. “

He also spoke of his unheard customers, who helped the needy during the epidemic, including the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, AARP and SAFE Horizons, who were victims of domestic violence.

And he said that because of the epidemic, following the opening of SL Green, a client of the 1,4011-foot-high One Vanderbilt office tower by Grand Central Terminal, there were few positives in terms of development in the midst of the epidemic.

Lobbyist James Capalino’s firm was the second most compensated firm in 2019 with $ 9.9 million, down from $ 11.9 million, followed by Bolton-St. Johns, with $ 6.7 million.

The top ten lobbying firms were Constantinople and Wallon (including former Council President Peter Wallon) $ 5,669,402.00; Pitta Bishop and Del Giorno $ 4,826,526.51; Greenberg Trarig, $ 4,571,504.20; Davidoff Hutcher and Citrone, $ 3,240,421; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver $ 3,198,924.84; Ghetto & De Milli Inc., $ 3,120,500; And CMW Strategies (Conline McLaughlin & Vollose), $ 3,104,899.92.

The developer of a project to build a 13-tower mixed-use project along Flushing Creek in Queens – the FWRA Consortium – paid $ 1 million in a lobbying bill as it won city council approval to rebuild the area , The highest paid for a single customer. Last year.

The real estate and development industry accounts for 40 percent of the lobbying activity as the bread and butter of the lobbying industry, the highest ever.

Institutions with their own in-house lobby include NY’s Real Estate Board ($ 320,844), the Association of Neighborhood Housing ($ 285,978), the Greater New York Hospital Association ($ 180,700), and the United Federation of Teachers ($ 173,164) .

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