Please note our new postal address when sending
contributions to the legal fund:
121 5th Avenue, PMB #150
Brooklyn, New York 11217
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and
there are 51 community organizations formally
aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.
DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000
subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition
signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB
to form our various teams, task-forces and committees
and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person
volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our
We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large
and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.
We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual
The most enlightening piece of information: Ratner and ESDC will not reveal the
project models or renderings or cost-benefit analysis until after the
project is given its second approval in early September. So, all the uproar at
the meeting and hearings that will
come next week is about an invisible project.
When union members shout "build it now" at such meetings, we'd like
to know: Build what?
Anything you'd want to know about this out-of-control meeting you can read about
it in that report. But we want to focus on the opening comments made by Atlantic
Yards boss MaryAnne Gilmartin.
As usual Forest City Ratner's supporters, including Reverend
Herbert Daughtry, heckled and at times grabbed the mike which had supposedly
been reserved only for panel members while the audience was supposed to only "speak"
by submitting written questions.
As usual the heckling had a lot to do with who has been in Brooklyn longer, who
is a "real Brooklynite." These supporters like to believe their own
mythmaking that project proponents are Brooklyn natives or long time residents
and opponents are "newcomers."
That's wrong, a myth.
But since that is the playing field they want to choose, we thought it would be
nice for you to see/hear what was said in between the heckling by Teaneck,
New Jersey resident Reverend Herbert Daughtry by Cleveland-based
Forest City Ratner Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin of Edgemont, New York
prior to opening remarks by the ESDC's Senior Counsel and Union
County, NJ resident Steve Matlin. (Of course Upper East Side
resident Bruce Ratnerwas not in attendance.)
Here is the video and some analysis by way of the Atlantic Yards Report:
(Video by Jonathan Barkey; edited by Norman Oder)
...Gilmartin, whom I erroneously
predicted wouldn’t show up, then spoke with a determined edge in her
voice. “It is approaching half a decade [sic] since Forest
City embarked on the Atlantic Yards project” she said, and after committing
“hundreds of millions in equity invested and not a single new building
built”—and, as we learned, gaining an unspecified amount of subsidies—“our
resolve is stronger than ever to build the project we committed to build early
on: a world-class arena, thousands of new housing units, 2250 of which will
be affordable, a new transit entrance, open space, a new railyard for the Long
Island Rail Road.”
Actually it is well over six years since Ratner embarked on the project. Oder
(Wait—wasn’t the project they committed to early on supposed to
be designed by Frank Gehry, offer space for 10,000 office jobs, and include
an upgraded railyard that would accommodate more trains rather than fewer?)
“While the world had change dramatically, the project’s scope
and its benefits have not,” Gilmartin asserted, stating that delays
and the economic crisis require value engineering and deferment of certain
“Today, undeterred by an anemic economy and a relentless campaign
of a few to delay the benefits to many,” she continued—in
a bit of a hedge-- “Forest City stands committed to building the project
as quickly as the market will allow.”
"Relentless campaign of a few...?" Really?
Ms. Gilmartin, the few were the ones sitting on the panel last night. The "relentless
campaign of a few" is made up of thousands and thousands of donors and supporters
of DDDB, scores of community organizations, and the opposition and critics include
all of the elected officials representing districts around the project site.
It has been a relentless campaign by Forest City Ratner and its paid
or indebted partners, in other
words "the few," to attempt to steamroll and bulldoze a community with
false promises and selfish motives.