« Atlantic Yards: What would Tiny Tim say? | Main | Eh, what's that you say? BrooklynSpeak up. »

September 25, 2006

Brooklyn Speaks Out!

BrooklynSpeaks.net (also ...com and ...org) broke from the starting gate yesterday evening with a whopping 688 supporters as of 7:44PM.

The strongly worded web site isn't quite the invitation to serve as Forest City Ratner's community doormat that many neighborhood stakeholders feared.

However, with many community groups still not on board, and the fact that the site principles were hammered out in secrecy amongst a handful of players, BrooklynSpeaks can hardly lay claim to the silent majority struggling to be heard.

Check out Atlantic Yards Report for a detailed analysis of the content of BrooklynSpeaks.net.

A practical criticism of the web site is that it is labyrinthian. Click through to the page about the group's principles, then don't forget to click on the text links to learn more about each set of principles, and then look for the subsequent text links to find out more details (you get the picture). Buried somewhere on the site are "other concerns," which mention, lastly, "eminent domain."

Another practical consideration is that any action generated from the web site requires the user to "join them!" (697 as of 7:13AM), though you can opt out of supporting Brooklyn Speaks by unclicking the checkbox at the bottom of the registration page.

*UPDATE: Norman Oder reports that unclicking the checkbox gets you nowhere. Could that be a nifty metaphor for BrooklynSpeaks's position, that not negotiating with Forest City Ratner will get you nowhere?

Other than this nitpicky stuff and a color scheme that reminds us of the canned blogspot template used by Atlantic Yards Report (is "tangerine" the new black?), BrooklynSpeaks: * takes a tough stand on the issues covered in their "principles," * gives honorable mention to those issues not adopted into their principles, and * somehow manages to sidestep the 800-lb. gorilla... the arena.

Where BrooklynSpeaks goes from here is anyone's guess. There has been chatter in the press and behind the scenes about negotiating with Forest City Ratner, but the web site does not indicate what their next move will be.

Additional coverage and commentary: Gowanus Lounge, "Brooklyn Speaks," But Who Will Listen?

Posted by lumi at September 25, 2006 6:46 AM