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July 7, 2009

ACORN's Lewis, interviewed unskeptically in journal focused on labor issues, maintains AY deal is a success

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder supplies a little fact-checking for an article devoid of it.

An immersion in the Atlantic Yards story can lead to some hard truths about people we consider professionals:

  • Elected officials repeat Forest City Ratner talking points and imaginary numbers ginned up by a paid FCR consultant
  • Elected officials miss the chance to pose tough questions to government officials (though they can recover)
  • Appointed officials actively mislead the public at an oversight hearing
  • A distinguished civil liberties lawyer makes campaign contributions to Brooklyn machine politicians
  • Wall Street analysts fail to ask tough questions about an issue that demands skepticism.
  • Academics avoid scrutinizing an organization that passes an ideological litmus test

The latter is the lesson of an unskeptical interview in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Regional Labor Review headlined ACORN’s Fair Housing Fight in Working Class Communities: A Conversation with ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis.
...

The section of the interview regarding Atlantic Yards consists of two open-ended questions and long soliloquies by Lewis, with no interpolation for fact-checking.

article

NoLandGrab: Lewis talks about how the Atlantic Yards affordable-housing agreements and Community Benefits Agreement "worked," but history, not Bertha Lewis, will be the judge. The project has yet to, and may never, break ground, and the disposition of that affordable housing, certainly 2,250 units of it, is very much in question. But one can't really say that ACORN got played by Bruce Ratner, 'cause they're holding 1.5 million of his dollars.

Posted by eric at July 7, 2009 11:57 AM