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November 12, 2010

From "Intractable Democracy": Ron Shiffman on ACORN, Atlantic Yards, and shifting his position on CBAs

Atlantic Yards Report

In Intractable Democracy: Fifty Years of Community-Based Planning, a new collection of articles and interviews by and with people associated with the Pratt Institute City and Regional Planning Program, there's an interview with former Chair Ron Shiffman, who elsewhere in the book is saluted by Village Voice writer Tom Robbins as deserving the award for translating community advocacy to "the everyday needs of everyday people."

Given the tensions over community advocacy highlighted by the Atlantic Yards fight, with Shiffman opposing ACORN, a longtime ally, the interview is quite timely, especially given that those general tensions are given voice in the new play by The Civilians, In the Footprint.

(ACORN's Bertha Lewis is in the play, though Shiffman is not.)

Does ACORN really believe that Atlantic Yards opponents like Shiffman are, as founder Wade Rathke recently suggested, "among the vast community who were not moved by the need for affordable housing in Brooklyn"? The interview suggests otherwise.

Read on for an excerpt.

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Posted by eric at November 12, 2010 9:52 AM