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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.

More about DDDB...
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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

Our Grassroots Attorneys
DDDB is fortunate to have a dedicated, crackerjack, resident volunteer legal team acting as a backup law firm to our two retained stellar attorneys, Matthew Brinckerhoff on the federal eminent domain lawsuit and Jeffrey Baker on the legal challenge to the state's review and approval of "Atlantic Yards." Our committee of legal volunteers certainly helps reduce our legal fees, but the community's vast contributions to our legal fund is what will keep us going towards ultimate legal victory.

We salute these selfless legal volunteers and all that they have given DDDB and the entire community concerned with and opposed to "Atlantic Yards." They have stood up for our democratic rights and constitutional rights, and continue to do so. If you see one of them, say thank you! With their dedicated volunteer work, our excellent retained attorneys, and your continued financial support of our legal fund, we will ultimately prevail.

New York Law Journal has recognized this unique volunteer law "firm" aspect of the tremendous grassroots opposition to "Atlantic Yards."

Local Lawyers Fight Atlantic Yards Project As 'Own Law Firm'
Thomas Adcock. 06-08-2007

Something about Brooklyn evokes the visceral among natives and newcomers alike. Of late, this includes dozens of resident lawyers personally affected by the prospect of their leafy neighborhoods falling victim to what they call "Manhattanization."

Beyond such a fate, the resident lawyers claim their concerns, and those of their non-lawyer neighbors, have been largely ignored by key politicians and Forest City Ratner Companies in moving forward on the largest single-design development project in the history of New York City - the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site near downtown Brooklyn, at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.

Under the leadership of Candace Carponter, a Manhattan solo practitioner who lives in Park Slope, some 30 of her neighbors/attorneys have formed the legal committee of Develop-Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the principal opposition group to Forest City Ratner's plan. The committee assists retained counsel in fighting the developer in federal and state courts.

Meanwhile, Ms. Carponter and others on the committee hold out hope for victory before Justice Joan Madden in the Manhattan Supreme Court matter of DDDB v. ESDC, 104597, an Article 78 proceeding seeking to annul the Empire State Development Corporation's approval of the Atlantic Yard's environmental impact statement.

Funds for constitutional and environmental litigators hired at reduced rates by Develop-Don't Destroy were generated from bake sales and stoop sales, as well as walk-a-thon pledges and audience donations at screenings of an anti-Forest City Ratner documentary, "Brooklyn Matters." Matthew D. Brinckerhoff and Andrew G. Celli Jr. of Emery Celli Brinckherhoff represents the group in the federal matter; Jeffrey S. Baker of the Albany-based Young Sommer Ward Ritzenberg Baker & Moore in the state matter.

Ms. Carponter said the legal committee "operates as our own law firm, basically, and what we're basically fighting is powerful government and rich folks run amok."

Mr. Baker, who two years ago thwarted plans by a Montreal cement company to construct a $353 million coal-fired plant on the riverfront of upstate Hudson (NYLJ, May 6, 2005), said the legal committee helped with research, leg work, drafting and "the most important thing - translating to lay people in the community what we're doing, and how the legal process works with the political process."

A Change of Heart
"Being a basketball fan, it sounded pretty good to me back in December '03," said Troy Selvaratnam, a Boerum Hill resident. "But as I read more about it, it became clear to me that this was a bad deal, an absolute abuse of democratic power and circumvention of process."

In 2003, Mr. Selvaratnam was an Eastern District court attorney. A former associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, he is now in-house counsel for a media company he declined to identify. He is active with the legal committee opposed to Forest City Ratner.

"There's an extraordinary brain trust in this area - urban planners, environmentalists, lawyers, you name it. The fact that we weren't involved in the discourse was insulting," said Mr. Selvaratnam. "If they'd just not been so insulting, our activism could have been assuaged."

But Loren Riegelhaupt, a spokesman for Forest City Ratner, said the developer held "hundreds of meetings" with the community.
(DDDB note: Yes, if you supported their project, they'd meet with you. See the Atlantic Yards Report article, "Forest City Ratner defends the process, but that's government's job")
"Not everyone is going to agree with us," he said. "But we've tried very, very hard to be as amenable and as open to the community as we possibly can."

Mr. Selvaratnum and his committee colleagues complain about the ultimate Albany green light from the little-known Public Authorities Control Board, which consists of three members: the governor and majority leaders of the Assembly and Senate. The project had first won approval from the Empire State Development Corporation - in part due to the efforts of outside counsel David Paget of Sive, Paget & Riesel, whose firm also represented Forest City Ratner on the same matter.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead ruled favorably on a committee lawsuit claiming Mr. Paget's conflict of interest, declaring a "severe, crippling appearance of impropriety."

Forest City Ratner appealed, claiming that Atlantic Yards could not win approval of its environmental impact statement without the specific expertise of Mr. Paget. In May 2006, Justice Milton Williams of the Appellate Division, First Department, wrote a majority opinion reversing Justice Edmead.

"There is general outrage about how this project was shoved down our throats," said attorney Randall L. Rasey, a commercial litigation associate at Barton Barton & Plotkin who has lived in Fort Greene since 2002 after many years in Manhattan. "We need development, but they've shut out the community from the development process. We've come up with alternative plans and proposals, but they don't listen."

He added, "I'm conservative at heart. I'm always leery of knee-jerk radicals. When I first heard about [Develop-Don't Destroy], I expected to see a bunch of over-aged hippies. But these people are really together, and they've done the economic analysis and come up with alternatives. We're not just naysayers."

Ms. Carponter said she and her fellow "eternal optimists" anticipate raising another $1 million or so to battle another day.

Full article. New York Law Journal

Posted: 6.08.07
DDDB.net en español.
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Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[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.

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
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters

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

-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
-Brooklyn Views
-Council of B'klyn N'hoods
-The Brooklyn Paper
-The Brooklyn Wire
-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
-S. Oxford St. Block Assoc.
-City Limits City Blogs
-The Knickerblogger
-Anyplace, Brooklyn
-Bklyn Bridge Park Defense
-Bay Ridge Journal
-Picketing Henry Ford
-Castle Coalition Blog
-Dope on the Slope
-Gowanus Lounge
-Fans For Fair Play
-Views from the Bridge
-Old First Blog
-Brooklyn Footprints
-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
-Streets Blog
-Urban Place & Space
-New York Games
-Field of Schemes
-News 12 Brooklyn
-Queens Crap
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-Eminent Domain Watch
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