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November 30, 2004

Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 Host Pep Rally for Forest City Ratner
Community Members are Left Out in the Cold While FCR Supporters Get VIP Treatment

DDDb Press Release:

While community members who were hungry for information cooled their heels on the sidewalk last night—many were ultimately turned away from the “informational” meeting held by Community Boards 2, 6 and 8—groups that support Forest City Ratner’s proposal were ushered to a special entrance at the front of the block-long line.

“Clearly, there are two classes of citizens these days,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. “Those who support Bruce Ratner’s proposal, and the rest of us.”

Those community members who were able to get into NYC College of Technology’s Klitgord Auditorium were treated to a 45-minute presentation by Forest City Ratner (FCR) Executive Vice President Jim Stuckey. Stuckey, a former President of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, showed gleaming sketches of FCR’s proposed 17-skyscraper-and-arena complex, and spoke at length about the community benefits FCR says it will deliver. “How can they make these promises,” asked DDDB’s Goldstein, “when they won’t even reveal how this project is going to be funded? Stuckey’s presentation offered no new facts, just a lot of unsubstantiated claims.”

The audience—heavily packed with construction union members who were given vouchers for their participation— was surprisingly reserved in its expression of approval, cheering most loudly for FCR’s claims that 1500 construction jobs per year will be created. But one group of public housing residents in the audience disrupted the meeting around that point, shouting, “Who’s going to get these jobs?” and demanding that Darnell Canada be heard.  Canada’s relationship with FCR dates back to the building of MetroTech, another Ratner project, when Canada organized residents of Brooklyn’s Farragut, Ingersoll and Whitman Houses to apply for MetroTech construction jobs that FCR promised to the community, but did not deliver.

“Stuckey claims that Bruce Ratner has never broken a promise,” said Goldstein, “but he obviously doesn’t read the newspapers. Just this month, FCR reneged on its deal with Pace University—and that’s only the latest in a long line of promises that are worth the paper they’re not written on.”

Note to Editors:  Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn supports the community-driven UNITY plan for developing the MTA/LIRR site in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The plan, which features truly affordable housing and promotes local small businesses as well as union jobs, will be presented at a community meeting next week.

WHAT: UNITY plan for MTA/LIRR site

WHO: Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and the Atlantic Yards Development Workshop

WHEN: Monday, December 6th at 7:00pm

WHERE: Seventh Day Adventist Church, 88 Hanson Place, Brooklyn (enter on South Portland)

To view the Ratner Proposal, visit: www.bball.net

To view the community’s UNITY plan, visit: www.dddb.net/public/UNITY.pdf

DEVELOP DON’T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them.

Posted by lumi at November 30, 2004 1:39 PM