The following is a statement from Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn's...
Board of Directors:
Reverend Dennis Dillon
As many of you know, our colleague, Daniel Goldstein, co-founder and spokesperson
for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, reached an agreement on Wednesday with New
York State and Forest City Ratner to vacate his home by May 7th. With little
leverage - a state Supreme Court judge had already allowed the state to take
title to his home on March 1st - Daniel was forced to relinquish his role as
spokesperson for DDDB in order to secure a reasonable settlement for his family.
While we are saddened to lose him as a spokesperson, we wholly and unequivocally
support his decision.
As Daniel made clear in the statement
he issued yesterday, however, he will continue to play a key role with DDDB
as we fight on against the Atlantic Yards project, and he refused - at the risk
of scuttling the settlement entirely - to agree to the gag order that Forest
City Ratner so badly wanted him to accept. And most of you will not know this:
over the past 6 years Daniel rejected four attempts by Ratner to get him to
drop the two key eminent domain lawsuits on which he was lead plaintiff.
It is impossible for us to adequately express our admiration for, and our gratitude
to, Daniel for the incredible work he's done over the past six-and-a-half years
on behalf of DDDB and the broad coalition of property owners, tenants and community
groups fighting Atlantic Yards. While he has certainly not been alone in this
fight, he was the only one among us who owned a home on the spot on which Bruce
Ratner wanted to build center court. Without Daniel and his principled desire
to stay in his home, this fight would likely have been over long ago. Thanks
in large part to Daniel's steadfastness, and to your efforts and financial support,
our battle for justice goes on.
While Daniel has played a critical and tireless role, he'd be the first to say
that the fight against Atlantic Yards is much, much bigger than Daniel Goldstein,
and about so much more than one man trying to save his home. It's about putting
a stop to eminent domain abuse, backroom deals, the squandering of public assets,
transparency in government and the workings of democracy - and making sure something
like Atlantic Yards never, ever happens again, anywhere. The thousands of you
who have donated your hard-earned money and your time to DDDB to fight Atlantic
Yards have done so to save a neighborhood, and a borough, a city, and a state,
from eminent domain abuse and the ugly corruption of public process.
That's why we will continue to press the fight in court, pursuing the Article
78 lawsuit seeking to compel the Empire State Development Corporation to
issue new Determinations and Findings for the Atlantic Yards project, along
with the suit seeking to overturn state approval of the Modified General Project
Plan, for which we filed
a motion to reconsider on April 8th based on clear evidence that the state
intentionally omitted critical evidence from the public record. And it's why
we will continue to push state and city officials to find the political will
to stop or alter the project. And why we'll continue to work with elected leaders
like state Senator Bill Perkins to pass legislation that fundamentally protects
the rights of home and business owners in New York State from eminent domain
DDDB and Daniel have stood for, and continue to stand for responsible development.
We continue to stand by our principles. We have never opposed development and
never opposed affordable housing. We have advocated for responsibly developing
the rail yards—through a democratic process with real community input—with affordable
housing and truly accessible open space. We have fought against the abuse of
power that subverted the City's democratic land use review processes, and misused
the power of eminent domain that resulted in the taking of Daniel's home and
the homes and businesses of many others. It was a misuse of a power that in
the past—and in this instance—victimized many, especially people not as fortunate
as Daniel to have had the ability to wage a fight against the abuse of that
All of us are sick and tired of Bruce Ratner and the ESDC and Atlantic Yards,
with good reason. It's never been a fair fight, and the deck has been stacked
in Ratner's favor from the very start. But fights worth fighting are worth fighting
to the end. Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn is not giving up the fight, Daniel
Goldstein isn't giving up the fight, and we know that you're not willing to
give up the fight, either. As Daniel wrote
yesterday: see you at the next meeting.