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August 29, 2008

AYR open mic night

openmic.jpgIn today's look back at the public-theater-of-a-hearing back in August 2006, Norman Oder stumbles over a previously missed fine point in City Councilmember Bill de Blasio's position on Atlantic Yards, a moment of pure farce, and a country song by Lew Fidler.

As de Blasio stresses AY support, he claims CBA, not government, would guarantee the affordable housing

From City Councilmember Bill de Blasio's tesimony:

As someone who's been involved in the housing field for a long time, I can say that unfortunately the places that we look to historically for affordable housing are not producing it, meaning our Federal and State government and this is one of the only ways we're going to be able to make progress.

Maybe de Blasio should have a sit-down with Norman Oder, who could explain how the Atlantic Yards affordable housing and CBA thingies work:

I've written about de Blasio's failure to do "due diligence" regarding Atlantic Yards. But I hadn't examined his statement at the hearing, which claimed that, because the federal and state governments were not supporting affordable housing, Atlantic Yards "is one of the only ways we're going to be able to make progress," but "only if we insure the community benefits agreement [CBA] is adhered to."

However, the affordable housing depends significantly on city and possibly state housing bonds, both authorized by the federal government. Other elements of the CBA depend on government funding as well.

From absurdism to farce: the community forums conclude with "What for?"

Tamika Brown, from the group with an unfortunate acronym (PPEE!), performed her own brand of nihilistic sketch comedy:

MS. TAMEKA BROWN: Hi. My name is Tameka Brown. And I represent PPEE [People for Political and Economic Empowerment]. And I'm for the project.
...
On that point, with y'all coming up here and saying all that stuff about the environment and all the rest of the stuff, what for? Why?

MR. TIMOTHY LOGAN, Sierra Club: Because it's an Environmental Impact hearing.

MS. TAMEKA BROWN: What for? What for?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: Sir, let her finish.

MS. TAMEKA BROWN: What for? The environment's already messed up. There's a hole in the atmosphere, what's up? I mean, come on, let's be real.

(Applause.)

To Lew Fidler, AY would replace an "old Buick"

COUNCIL MEMBER LEWIS FIDLER: For those of you who are probably about to boo me, I want to offer you my sympathy, but not my support. You know, I remember when I had to get to get rid of my -- my old Buick, you know, it's a trusty old familiar car. You know, I had it for, you know, longer than I probably should have. And I felt really bad as they drove it off to the junkyard. But you know what, I knew that driving into the future with my beautiful, new union-built car was a whole lot better.

Lyrics from "Buick City Complex":

They're tearing the Buick City Complex down
I think we're the only people left in town
Where are you gonna move, where are you gonna move?
Do you wanna mess around?

Posted by lumi at August 29, 2008 5:16 AM