Pol Precinct

Where do this year's primary candidates stand on Ratner's plan?

We've asked them all and only received a couple responses. So what is a grassroots movement to do? NoLandGrab's editorial board has evaluated each politician, based upon their official responses, public statements and actions.

Now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been released, it is time for the politicians who are ducking the voters' concerns to state whether or not they are for or against this project and to clarify what actions they are prepared to take.

Can't remember your district? Click here to go to NYPIRG's searchable database for NYC.

Note to Pols: If you feel like NoLandGrab has unfairly summarized your position, please contact us with your detailed position statement at start@nolandgrab.org. It's never too late to tell your constituents how you really feel.

57th Assembly District

Bill Batson

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For the past two years, Bill has served as a member of Community Planning Board 8, co-chairing the Fire Safety committee as well as the special sub-committee on the Environmental Impact of the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Development. Throughout the past two years, he has been an outspoken critic of the project.

Freddie Hamilton

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As a signatory to Bruce Ratner’s Community Benefits Agreement and a recipient of Forest City Ratner funding, she was seen as the “Ratner Candidate” from the moment she entered the race. Since that time, she has barely run an active campaign, and is currently not answering questions in public forums about the Atlantic Yards proposal.

Hakeem Jeffries

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Jeffries wants to have it both ways and tailors his message to his audience. He supports many of the goals of the project but has publicly stated concerns about scale and impact. He has also made confusing statements about not supporting the use of eminent domain for the arena, despite the fact that eminent domain will have to be invoked. He now has clear backing from the Democratic Party Machine, which is pulling out all the stops to support the project.

18th State Senate District

Velmanette Montgomery

Voice of the people and co-sponsor of the Atlantic Yards Development Workshop with City Councilmember Letitia James, Montgomery has been unwavering in her support for and promotion of real community-based development for the Railyards. Montgomery also has taken part in legal action, including filing an amicus brief in the eminent domain case of Kelo v. New London.

Tracy Boyland

From The Brooklyn Papers (09/02/06): Tracy Boyland “admitted that the Atlantic Yards developer was ‘helping’ her campaign.

“I love [Forest City Ratner Companies executive president] Bruce Bender,’ the Yards supporter said.

And don’t forget the wacky smear campaign, again from the Brooklyn Papers: “Last week, a Boyland campaign volunteer urged a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident to help put ‘some white woman named Montgomery out of office.’”

11th Congressional District

Carl Andrews

Andrews says it’s a good project even though there are concerns about implementation and community input. Andrews has deep ties to the Brooklyn Party Machine -- which has been tarnished by the recent conviction of Andrews’s political benefactor, Clarence Norman.

Yvette Clarke

Clarke’s campaign has never sent a reply to our requests for her position on Atlantic Yards, but recently she has been waxing poetic about the plan. She told the Brooklyn Papers editorial board, “I support the project [because] the benefits outweigh the burdens. As it is today, my observation is that the process has been completely legal.

Chris Owens

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Chris Owens is the only candidate running in Congressional District 11 who has been tough on Atlantic Yards.

Owens is the most active champion for the community, and has unequivocally denounced the unmitigable impacts of the project.

David Yassky

Yassky’s position has probably been the slipperiest of all of the candidates running in this year’s primary. First, he’s for the project because the arena would be good for Brooklyn. Then he’s concerned about the enormous scale and traffic. But wait, there’s more… don’t forget the appearance of quid pro quo when Ratner’s African American supporters lent their support to Yassky in exchange for his token attempt to squeeze $3MM out of NYC’s budget for the astrotruf group BUILD.

10th Congressional District

Charles Barron

“Instant gentrification” is the battle cry of this City Councilmember, who has been an outspoken critic of the project. Looking out for the broader community, he warns of false promises and repeatedly points out that the money for housing and jobs could be better spent without lining Ratner’s pockets.

Roger Green

Green abandoned his assembly seat by resigning when he pleaded guilty to corruption charges, thus leaving his district without representation for 7 months until his re-election last November. He then took the position that he will make concessions in order to have "a seat at the table" with Ratner. As Letitia James's mentor, his constituents expect more.

Edolphus Towns

Towns says he is for Atlantic Yards because an arena worked in Cleveland. The absentee representative explained his position to the Brooklyn Papers: “I watched what happened with the downtown area of Cleveland, with the arena there. The downtown area was dead. The Washington, DC area — they bought an arena, and now there are all these stores and restaurants as a result of the arena. Baltimore, as well. A lot of economic opportunities present themselves when you have an arena and you bring in people. I think that having the Nets and the arena in Brooklyn is a good thing. I support that. I do think the project should be downsized.”

Governor

Tom Suozzi

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Of any of the statewide candidates, Suozzi has taken the strongest stance against eminent domain abuse and has repeatedly stated his opposition and concerns about the Atlantic Yards project.

Eliot Spitzer

Spitzer on Atlantic Yards via Daily News: “I'm for it. I'm not crazy about government subsidies, obviously, but this is a project where there's a hole in the ground. I see an enormous upside in terms of the stadium, the housing, the jobs.”

One concession to political sanity was Spitzer’s call for more time for the community to review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Other Races

Sean Patrick Maloney, Attorney General

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Maloney has outlined a tough stand against Atlantic Yards, stating, “I believe that the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards development must be stopped cold until some tough questions get asked and answered. Why do the powerful interests and political establishment treat the public interest like a burden? This isn’t about a business plan, it’s about a neighborhood.”

Eric Adams, State Senate (20th District)

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Adams tells us that he is "opposed to the project as it is currently proposed." His concerns "include the size of the project, infrastructure needs (schools, sewage, etc.), terrorist threats, and traffic plans."

Olanike Alabi, 57th Assembly District Leader

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Alabi is running against Freddie Hamilton, who is not only running as a candidate for 57th AD representative, but is fighting to keep her position as the District Leader. Alabi opposes Atlantic Yards and was fired from her position as Disctict Manager partly because of her concerns over the project. [She won a suit where she was reinstated with back pay.]