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September 19, 2005

DDDb Press Release: Councilmember Letitia James Wins Resounding Victory Over Ratner Supporter

Leading Political Opponent's Victory is a Clear Referendum Against Ratner's Arena/Skyscraper Development Plan

BROOKLYN, NY—For the last two years the leading and most controversial issue in the City's 35th council district has been Bruce Ratner's proposal for 17 skyscrapers and an arena in the Prospect Heights section of her Brooklyn district. The staunchest political opponent of the Forest City Ratner (FCR) project has been the district's councilwoman, Letitia James, who has had to contend with the issue since her first day in office. Last week, in what was widely seen as a referendum on the Ratner project, Councilwoman James won a resounding 84% to 16% primary day victory over a Ratner backed candidate, Eric Blackwell.

Mr. Blackwell is a leading supporter of Ratner's proposal and a co-founder of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), the group that was formed to support the Ratner plan.

"Letitia James has stood strongly against Mr. Ratner and his destructive development plan for her beloved district. She has been bolstered by the community that supports her and her opposition to the Ratner plan. Her re-election, by a gigantic margin, is a loud and clear sign to Mr. Ratner, Mayor Bloomberg and all of Mr. Ratner's political supporters, that our community is opposed to his Atlantic Yards development plan," said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. "We don't have referendums on such issues in this City, but Councilmember. James' victory is clearly a referendum on Ratner's plans. The answer from the 35th district is: 'No, Mr. Ratner, we do not want your project."

Goldstein concluded, "Our elected officials should take note of Councilmember James' primary victory--there is a political price to pay if you support the Ratner plan."

Posted by lumi at September 19, 2005 8:50 AM