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August 25, 2006

Candidates' statements

Two candidates who are running for, but do not currently hold, office — and thus could not cut the line to speak before the "public" at the "public" hearing — have posted their statements and comments on the Atlantic Yards hearing on their web sites.

Bill Batson, Statement on the "Atlantic Yards" Draft Environmental Impact Statement to the Empire State Development Corporation

After hundreds of hours of close examination of this project, with my neighbors and peers, I must condemn virtually every aspect of the Forest City Ratner (FCR) proposal for the following reasons: * The use of eminent domain for a private developer is wrong and is a precedent that should never be set. I remind the audience that the same consultants used by Ratner and the ESDC (AKRF) are also attempting to use eminent domain to take a known Underground Railroad location on Duffield Street. * Every promise made by this developer is worthless unless contained in a legally binding agreement with a local legislative body. In the past, FCR has promised street widening, an off ramp from the BQE, free parking and employment for local kids. Each promise was reneged on. * Substantial public subsidies should involve substantial public review. There has been NO LEGITIMATE PUBLIC REVIEW OF THIS PROJECT. I propose that any public subsidy to a single developer of over one billion dollars should be put up to a referendum * And finally, if built, this monstrosity will destroy the most storied county in American history. The shadows cast across Fort Greene would scar America’s first middle class black community. In 1820, African-Americans started Weeksville at the corner of Lincoln and Underhill and grew to Buffalo and Bergen. In Fort Greene Park, Richard Wright wrote Native Son and John Coltrane perfected his chops. Under the soil of the park, built by Walt Whitman, lie the bones of the 11,500 prison ship martyrs. This history, absent from this ESDC document should form the centerpiece of any development in Brooklyn, not an afterthought, or even worse, a victim.

AlisonDuncan.jpgAlison Duncan (Green Party candidate, Lt. Gov), Develop Brooklyn on a Human Scale

One of the four pillars of the Green Party is grassroots democracy. The Atlantic Yards project is fundamentally undemocratic. It is exempt from our local Urban Land Use Review Procedure and therefore not held accountable to the community boards, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. Because the project is not accountable to local government:

"Atlantic Yards" Voter's Guide looked on Hakeem Jeffries web site and in his latest campaign mailer and couldn't find one statement on the most controversial issue in the candidate's district.

Posted by lumi at August 25, 2006 10:24 AM