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May 7, 2012

Hakeem Jeffries rides a wave of (mostly deserved) praise, which happens to ignore his caution on Atlantic Yards; what kind of AY governance compromise is coming?

Atlantic Yards Report

Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries was anointed yesterday by the New York Times as one of the city's ten "rising" power players, a nod to his record of accomplishment and his role as the clear front-runner in the race to succeed Rep. Ed Towns, who chose to retire rather than face Jeffries and Council Member Charles Barron:

Mr. Jeffries, 41, a former lawyer at the Paul Weiss firm, is politically moderate and untouched by scandal, and can talk to the gentrifiers in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene and to the Hasidim in Crown Heights. “He has the potential to swing a much larger bat in the power game than any of the black leaders in Brooklyn,” said Norman Adler, a Democratic political consultant.

Indeed, Jeffries has real accomplishments in his record, notably, as the Times put it, sponsoring a bill that "prohibited the police from collecting data on people stopped and frisked but not charged with a crime." I'd add that he got another bill passed that ensures that prisoners upstate are counted as part of the population of their home counties.
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Jeffries and Atlantic Yards

For all the reasons to admire Jeffries, his not-so-forthright stance on the most controversial issue in his district, Atlantic Yards, should not be ignored. Jeffries has been close to the fence, sometimes a supporter, more often a critic, but generally not standing with the activists out front nor Council Member Letitia James, the clear political opponent of the project. He doesn't mention Atlantic Yards on his campaign web site.

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NoLandGrab: Jeffries has plenty of sizzle. It's the steak we're worried about.

Posted by eric at May 7, 2012 11:04 AM