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About DDDB
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 retained attorneys.

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 donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

The Ratner Touch

Atlantic Yards Report has been doing some deep research on political donations from the Ratner family, with a focus on famed Constitutional Rights attorney–and brother of Bruce Ratner–Michael Ratner. Michael Ratner is an investor in the Nets (and perhaps the entire "Atlantic Yards" proposal, we're not sure). In sum, Michael Ratner has donated substantial sums of money to politicians who neither share his known political beliefs or could impact his core issues, other than their ability to help further his brother Bruce Ratner's real estate development goals.

Bruce Ratner doesn't just include his brother as a middleperson, but also his sister-in-law, his sister, and his girlfriend. Most astounding are Michael Ratner's contributions to convicted former Kings County Democratic party boss Clarence Norman, Democratic Party pariah Ed Towns and NY City Comptroller William Thompson. Thompson, as Comptroller, has given resounding support to the "Atlantic Yards" plan though he has never publicly scrutinized its various public funding mechanisms or the financial impact on the City of New York.

Michael Ratner has often donated using the 1 Metrotech address which happens to house Forest City Ratner's headquarters. Additionally his financial support of "Atlantic Yards," which arguably abuses the Fifth and First Amendments, has confounded us for quite a while, as we have great respect for the Constitutional and Human Rights work that he does.

Michael Ratner has said that when it comes to his brother Bruce Ratner he won't go against blood. That's acceptable, but does he have to go with blood with so much green? That's a different story.

From Atlantic Yards Report:
The Ratner campaign money trail leads to... Michael (& his wife)
Dennis Kucinich, Jonathan Tasini, and... Edolphus Towns.

Deborah Glick, Liz Krueger, and... Martin Malave Dilan.

The first two names in each trio are noted progressives, while those coming third are undistinguished products of the Brooklyn machine (who also support Atlantic Yards). Towns and Dilan have drawn criticism from progressives for their votes, respectively, for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and to require inadequate protections against lead-paint hazards.

But all have received campaign contributions from Michael Ratner (right), the eminent human rights lawyer. While Ratner's not talking, his Brooklyn political contributions seem guided not by ideology but by the interests of Forest City Ratner (FCR), the development company run by his brother Bruce.

Michael Ratner and his wife Karen Ranucci, both Greenwich Village residents, have recently made campaign contributions using Forest City Ratner's Brooklyn building as a return address. Ranucci has matched many of her husband's contributions. And Bruce Ratner's girlfriend Pamela Lipkin, as well as other Ratner family members, have made contributions engineered by an FCR lobbying firm.

Even though Bruce Ratner no longer contributes to political races himself, his inner circle seems willing to help out. Indeed, Michael Ratner/Ranucci contributions to Yvette Clarke suggest that the developer supports--or at least supported--the pro-AY City Councilwoman in her bid to win the tight four-person race for the open 11th Congressional District seat.

And Michael Ratner/Ranucci contributions to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver--sent from the Brooklyn address--hint that the developer won't forget to lobby the individual on the Public Authorities Control Board who has the greatest power to stop or shape the Atlantic Yards project....

...Bundling for Thompson

In 2001, Michele de Milly, whose firm has long done p.r. for FCR, organized five contributions of $4500--for a total of $22,500--to William Thompson's campaign for city comptroller. The donors were Michael Ratner, Ranucci, Lipkin, Bruce Ratner's daughter Rebecca Ratner, and Ellen Ratner of Washington, another family member.

Thompson is now a supporter of the Atlantic Yards project, even though it raises similar issues--questionable financing and the absence of a transparent public process--that he cited when criticizing Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Hudson Yards plan in October 2004....

...Casinos upstate?
Another curious pair of Michael Ratner/Ranucci contributions came just last week, on 8/31/06, when each gave $5400--from the MetroTech address--to the reelection campaign of State Senator Marc Coppola, who's in a tight primary race upstate.

It's unclear what interest two Greenwich Village residents have in a campaign to represent Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Nearly all of Coppola's donors are local. Still he has played a key role in discussion of a proposed Buffalo casino, which is highly controversial. Forest City Ratner was lobbying New York City regarding casino gambling way back in 1999. And Forest City Ratner's parent company, Forest City Enterprises, has tried to get into the casino business in Pittsburgh....
And more eminent domain support:
Eminent domain in Queens
A check of the campaign database this morning showed additional $5400 contributions from both Michael Ratner and Ranucci to State Senator John Sabini of Queens, who's in a hard-fought primary battle against City Councilman Hiram Monserrate. Both contributions were sent from the MetroTech address. More contributions may surface as candidates belatedly file their disclosure forms.

The issue in Queens may be eminent domain, as the Queens Ledger reported last week:
Perhaps the topic that best highlighted the differing political styles of Monserrate and Sabini was issue of eminent domain at Willets Point. The pair both agreed that any use of eminent domain, generally speaking, should be held to the highest scrutiny, but Monserrate has been an outspoken critic of using eminent domain at Willets Point at all, whereas Sabini has largely played a behind-the-scenes role, or no role in Monserrate's opinion.

And Forest City Ratner is a finalist for the redevelopment plan at Willets Point....
Continue reading...



Posted: 9.05.06
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


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