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August 29, 2006

DDDB Press Release:

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn Calls for Apology from NYC District Council Carpenters Political Director Stephen McInnis Should Apologize for Insensitive Remarks

BROOKLYN, NY—Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) calls for an apology to the communities of Central Brooklyn for a statement made today by a union leader.

In an article in today’s New York Observer (“Chris Quinn: Secret Establishment Favorite”), the political director of the New York City District Council Carpenters, Stephen McInnis, is quoted as saying that he sees officials as advocates of one of three worldviews: “build everything, platform over the Hudson River and build 60-story high-rises”; “let’s burn it all down, Atlantic Yards is the worst thing ever, and I’m going to get my name in the paper by saying it’s the worst thing ever”; and, finally, “the middle ground.”

Mr. McInnis’ statement that opponents of developer Forest City Ratner’s “Atlantic Yards” proposal want to “…burn it all down…” is both insensitive and confusing. The statement is insensitive as the communities surrounding Ratner’s proposed project, along the Pacific Street corridor, have recently seen a rash of suspected arsons which have not only burned buildings down but have killed five individuals.

Mr. McInnis’ remarks are confusing because the communities fighting against the Ratner project are opposed to the abuse of eminent domain which would see the state of New York seize and demolish approximately 70 buildings. Presumably Mr. McInnis supports those demolitions. Those same opponents of “Atlantic Yards” favor a different http://dddb.net/php/community/extell.phpdevelopment plan for the rail yards–a plan http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/326092p-278717c.htmlsolicited by them–which would not tear down any buildings. That plan would construct eleven buildings up to 28 stories using union labor, offers the same percentage of affordable housing as “Atlantic Yards” does, and offered substantially more money to the MTA than the Ratner bid.

“We fully support the use of union labor for any development that might occur on the Brooklyn rail yard site and development anywhere in the city. We respect union labor–all we ask is that union leadership respect the communities they wish to come into and build,” said DDDB spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. “We hope that Mr. McInnis can show us that respect and apologize for his insensitive remarks in today’s Observer article.”

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Posted by lumi at August 29, 2006 7:17 AM