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August 14, 2009

So, was Jo Anne Simon an “early vocal opponent" of eminent domain for AY? Yes, but it's complicated

Atlantic Yards Report

So, did Jo Anne Simon, the 52nd District Leader, civil rights attorney, and fundraising leader in the race for the 33rd District Council seat, say that she was an “early vocal opponent of the use of eminent domain” at the debate on Tuesday, as noted by her anonymous critics on the Real Reform Brooklyn blog?

The answer, as far as I can tell:

  • she said something at least pretty close
  • she did announce opposition to eminent domain early on
  • she has been less vocal than leaders of the AY opposition regarding eminent domain

Simon is not the most anti-Atlantic Yards candidate for the seat--Ken Baer and Ken Diamondstone are longstanding opponents standing with Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), and Doug Biviano and Evan Thies are making AY an issue--though she's far more critical and knowledgeable than the current officeholder, David Yassky. She also has endorsements from and ties to various Brooklyn political figures.

The question for voters seeking reform is whether the most important issue is the first order of reform--a candidate other than Stephen Levin, who's tied to Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez--or the second order of reform, the most "reformist" of the rest of the pool.

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Posted by eric at August 14, 2009 9:28 AM