From a message from the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods:
"PROTEST! SHOW UP! BE HEARD!
The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods today called on its dozens of member organizations and the tens of thousands of community residents of Prospect Heights, Ft. Greene, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant and Boerum Hill, and all citizens disgusted with the abuse of public process that is called Atlantic Yards, to show up for a protest to the “groundbreaking” scheduled for March 11, 2010.
From the Call To Action message:
“To all CBN members, Brooklyn residents, NYC residents, fellow advocates for good government, and everyone disgusted by taxpayer abuse, corporate welfare, and sham politics:
The poster child for everything wrong with development in New York State today, Forest City Ratner’s disastrous Atlantic Yards project, is scheduled for a sham groundbreaking tomorrow. We must ALL show up to protest this
The Shams and the Shame
The AY process has been a sham since before day one.
Sham #1: Six years ago, in violation of every development requirement for an open bidding process, Mayor Bloomberg, Boro President Markowitz, and then Governor George Pataki announced a development to be called Atlantic Yards. After the first howls of protest at this dismissal of process, a sham Request for Proposals was circulated. The winner? The previously annointed Forest City Ratner.
Sham #2: The Starchitect. In an attempted gloss on the mostly hideous buildings previously inflicted on Brooklyn, FCR announces the miraculous Frank Gehry would be the sole architect. Gehry, who had never engineered a single skyscraper, designed at least four iterations of his unworkable designs before being canned.
Sham #3: FCR announces significant community support with the unveiling of a document signed by 8 organizations, 5 of them formed by FCR and all of them receiving payments from FCR. This was called a Community Benefits Agreement. All good government groups have already labeled this sham a SHAM, earning Atlantic Yards another star on its Poster Child of Bad Development scoreboard.
Sham #167: Politicians and prosecutors ignore FCR’s involvement as what some have describes as an unindicted co-conspirator in Yonkers’ Ridge Hill (a development by Forest City Ratner) bribery scandal which has resulted in FBI indictments of Yonkers city councilmembers for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes from “Developer #2,” identified as Forest City Ratner.
Sham #168: FCR maintains it will break ground on another building in addition to the George Foreman Grill-like arena during the current year, even though no architect has been contracted and no designs exist, a process that generally takes a minimum of 2 years. In a related Sham, the new head of the Municipal Art Society blesses the arena and says his firm would be happy to be considered to design towers for Atlantic Yards.
Sham #169: Governor Paterson defends continuing the money pit of the public subsidy sucking Atlantic Yards project, despite his own warnings of imminent Depression status for New York. He said we wouldn’t be able to see if it was a good project or a bad project until we wait another 10 years!
Is that a good enough evaluation to close schools and hospitals to balance a budget that showers public subsidies on a billionaire from Cleveland, and a Russian billionaire-“oligarch”, for an unnecessary arena and NO PUBLIC BENEFITS?
THIS CANNOT CONTINUE!
THE PUBLIC MUST TAKE BACK THE PUBLIC PROCESS!
MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!
March 11, 2010
Gather at 6th Avenue and Dean Street, (in front of Freddy’s)