NY Rep. Jerry Nadler accused of hypocrisy for opposing cell phone towers in district

One of the city’s most prominent liberal politicians is saying “Not In My Backyard” after the city proposed a 32-foot high cell phone tower in the Upper East Side.

Rep. Jerry Nadler — who has demanded that city officials close to Rikers Island — co-signed a letter sent to the city Landmarks Preservation Commission objecting to a dozen cell phone towers going up in historic districts along posh Park Avenue, Carnegie Hill and UES historic districts.

The letter was co-signed by Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, state Sen. Liz Krueger, Assembly members Alex Bores and Rebecca Seawright and Council members Keith Powers and Julie Menin.

The Upper East Side is not the only neighborhood affected. Mayor Eric Adams’ administration — through the Office of Technology & Innovation — is overseeing the installation of 2,000 Link5G street towers across the city to bolster service — including 18 in the Community Board 8 on the UES, including 12 in landmarked districts.

“Today, I joined with my fellow East side elected officials raising concerns about the placement of these 5G cell towers in our historic neighborhoods without careful consideration of its effect on the community,” Nadler said in a statement on Twitter.


Rep. Jerry Nadler opposes 32-foot cell phone towers being installed on the Upper East Side.
Stefan Jeremiah for NY Post

32-feet cell phone tower.
The 32-foot 5G, cell phone tower that is being installed across the city and opposed by Upper East Side residents and politicians.
Samuel Rigelhaupt/Sipa USA

“While the project aims to expand the city’s 5G infrastructure, the proposed 32-foot towers do not blend with the existing ones of the Upper East Side, and have generated widespread concern throughout the community,” the letter said.

“We are concerned about moving forward with a project that will have a permanent presence without hard data to confirm the actual need for these towers,” the pols said.

Nadler represents Manhattan’s Upper East Side as well as the West Side for the first time following congressional redistricting last year and after he defeated ex-Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a Democratic primary.


Eric Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams said the installation of 32-foot cell phone towers is necessary to bolster broadband service across the city.
Stephen Yang

The liberal NIMBY campaign to ban cell phone towers, raised eyebrows and cries of hypocrisy from other political activists concerned about crime and more serious quality of life issues.

“Cell phone towers are objectionable but a jail in Chinatown is OK?” said Yiatin Chu, founder and president of the Asian Wave Alliance.

One of the neighborhood jails would open in Chinatown if the Rikers Island jail complex is closed, as planned.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who resides in the Upper West side portion of Nadler’s district, called his opposition to cell phone towers “hypocritical and ridiculous.”

“We have people defecating and urinating in the street. We have increased crime,” Sheinkopf said.

This is the best Nadler can do? Opposing cell phone towers that are going up across the city. Only poor neighborhoods are supposed to get cell phone towers? What’s wrong with this guy?


Cell phone tower, John Starks' Kia car dealership.
A cell phone tower was installed in front of Knicks basketball great John Stark’s Kia dealership.
Steve Vago

The liberal opposition is reminiscent of when the Kennedy family opposed — and helped defeat — a planned electricity-generating off shore windfarm near their summer compound in Cape Cod.

Adams, when announcing the Link5G program last July said “accessible broadband and phone service isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity.”

“When it comes to digital services, we know that too many New Yorkers have been left behind,” he said.. “Our administration is committed to changing that and ensuring that all of our city’s residents have access to tech services, no matter where. they live.”

UES politicians and residents aren’t the only ones squawking about the 5G towers.

Former Knicks basketball star John Starks is found when the city had one of the 32-foot 5G towers installed smack in front of his Kia car dealership in Queens.

A spokesman for the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation, asked about criticism from Nadler and other Upper East lawmakers, said, “This administration believes that digital connectivity is a human right, necessary to fully participate and access opportunities in modern society.

“As part of our city’s ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide, Link5G ensures reliable, ultra-fast network speed and expanded mobile coverage are equitably delivered across the five boroughs. We thank elected leaders and community members for sharing their valuable feedback and look forward to continued engagement with them as we continue the process of siting these kiosks.”

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