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October 22, 2005

Yassky flops at public hearing, attempts to set the record straight

After claiming that he is for the project, but not before he is against the project, City Councilmember David Yassky attempts to set the record straight on his position on Atlantic Yards in a press release:

Office of Council Member David Yassky

Contact: Evan Thies, 917 715 9265

NY Times Gets it Wrong --
Yassky Does Not Support Ratner Plan Without Major Changes

October 21, 2005 -- The New York Times erroneously reported yesterday that Council Member David Yassky supports the current plan by developer Bruce Ratner to redevelop Atlantic Yards. In a statement, Yassky rebuked the Times, saying that he is for housing, jobs and investment for Brooklyn at the site, but will not support the project until significant changes are made.

"I believe that a professional sports team has the potential to benefit Brooklynites, both as an amenity and by creating hundreds of job," Yassky said. "In addition to the arena, development at Atlantic Yards could also create much-needed housing and space for commercial development. However, there are many problems with the latest proposal. Chief among them is the scale of the project. I do not believe that Downtown and Brownstone Brooklyn can handle such out-of-scale development, nor do I believe that the current plan has adequately considered the impact on surrounding communities."

For more on Yassky's position, read his testimony from Tuesday's public hearing: http://www.davidyassky.com/show_issue.php?id=21&x=22&y=4

NoLandGrab: To be clear, the above link points to the written tesimony Councilmember Yassky submitted at Tuesday's hearing, not his oral comments. The distinction between the two seems to be that the Times reported that he was for the project provided it was done right, but really he is against the project, UNLESS it is done right.

Councilmember Yassky appears to be attempting to walk a fine line, neither too "for" nor too "against" the project as he susses out his chances for a congressional run in 2006.

Yassky, however, may be underestimating Brooklyn's voters. Given his constituents' deep-seated anger about the Atlantic Yards project, and the recent unraveling of Brooklyn's Democratic machine, it's likely that voters are ready for a candidate who is not afraid to take strong positions and act as an elected representative, rather than a politician.

Posted by lumi at October 22, 2005 12:54 PM