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DDDb is the leader and organized voice of a broad-based coalition of organizations opposing Forest City Ratner's proposed arena / high-rise project in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.


COMMUNITY OUTREACH, EDUCATION, AND COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:
  • Reached out to tens of thousands of community members by petitioning, distributing newsletters with the help of 125 block-captains, attending community board and block association meetings throughout Brooklyn, issuing direct mail, press media, and maintaining regular contact through an e-newsletter with a mailing list of thousands of supporters.

  • Recruited more than 400 volunteers who carry out the organization's work.

  • Become the information clearinghouse for civic organizations, individuals, journalists, and professionals looking for information and status on the issue.

  • Organized several community rallies–including a march from Brooklyn Borough Hall to City Hall–the largest of which was attended by 3000 people and supported by 40 organizations.

  • Led a collaborative effort with several other organizations to reach out to more than 400 community-based organizations in the area to engage and educate the community at large about the environmental review process.

  • Recruited dozens of local community-based groups and citywide government watchdog groups to create public letters demanding fiscal transparency, accountability, and adherence to the established legal process.

  • Held numerous meetings with citizens who live in the proposed development's footprint and surrounding neighborhoods.
RESEARCH
POLITICAL OUTREACH and PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • Drove the successful effort to force the land-holding government agency (MTA) to release bids to the public.

  • Organized lobbying trips to Albany to educate state assemblymen and senators about what's wrong with the FCRC proposal and what type of development would truly benefit the affected communities. Met with legislators as well as their heads of staff in numerous private meetings.

  • Met with the district managers and chairpersons of local Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 and attended dozens of committee meetings to participate in discussion of issue.

  • Met with more than half of New York's City Council members and successfully lobbied for two major City Council public hearings. Provided expert testimonies at various official hearings and at public information meetings. Appeared and spoke at MTA board meetings.

  • Held numerous press conferences, driving the opposition's position in the media. Gave countless interviews to local, city, and national media as primary source for opposition viewpoints. Met with editorial boards of NYC's major daily newspapers. Quoted and cited in majority of articles published currently.

  • Exposed BUILD IRS documents showing $5 million payment from Forest City Ratner


ALTERNATIVE PLANS
  • Co-sponsored the creation of three alternative development plans (for both an arena and for the site targeted by FCRC) that illustrate flaws and weaknesses in the FCRC Plan.

  • Participated in the Atlantic Yards Development Workshop, sponsored by Councilwoman Letitia James, that resulted in the UNITY Community Development Plan
  • Promoted and brought widespread attention to the UNITY plan in the months following the workshop.

  • Participated in the development of the community guidelines from the
    UNITY plan.

  • Distributed the government's RFP and the community development guidelines to developers around the world. Located a developer that submitted a superior, financially viable, alternative bid, gaining national attention, forcing a 45-day delay in the process, and an increase of the FCRC bid by $50 million.

LEGAL INITIATIVES
  • Established a multi-faceted legal team to mount a range of legal challenges to the FCRC Plan, including:

    Prominent attorney Jeffrey S. Baker from the Albany-based environmental law firm Young, Sommer,Ward, Ritzenberg, Baker & Moore). Mr. Baker has been working with us 2.5 years.

    We have also retained the highly skilled civil rights and constitutional attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff (from the law firm Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady) as lead counsel on the federal eminent domain lawsuit filed on October 26, 2006.

    Together with a large team of volunteer local lawyers, important experts in the fields of economics, traffic, pollution and waste, Mr. Baker, Mr. Brinckerhoff and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn are committed to challenging the proposed plan.
  • Organized plaintiffs and a legal team to a federal eminent domain lawsuit in October, 2006; the suit alleges that "Atlantic Yards" violates the U.S. Constitution
  • Filed an I (friend of the court) brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of the New London, Connecticut homeowners in the landmark eminent domain case, Kelo v. The City of New London (www.dddb.net/public/DDDBamicusbrief.pdf)
  • Secured pro-bono legal consultation and advice for the lower-income tenants in the footprint of the proposed development.
  • Lodged a Conflicts-of-Interest complaint about the City Planning Commissioner's investment in the proposed project, resulting in the commissioner recusing herself from decisions pertaining to the proposal.