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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

This is Reform?

Reform-minded Governor Eliot Spitzer had that reform slip his mind this week when he signed the 421-a property tax "reform" bill with a special provision giving a $200 million tax break exclusively for politically-connected, billionaire developer Bruce Ratner. That's right, under the new bill Bruce Ratner is the only developer who can get a 15-year tax break for constructing buildings comprised entirely of unaffordable units; that's right, a tax break not to build affordable housing. This means that if "Atlantic Yards" is ever built there would likely be 4 entire buildings of luxury condos paying no taxes for 15 years. That is a loss of $200 million as estimated by New York City.

Who gains? Bruce Ratner can sell those units at a higher price by passing on those tax savings to the new luxury condo owners. The Ratner Clause also allows Bruce Ratner to segregate residents of the "affordable" units from residents of his unaffordable units. Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of the 57th District has called this "economic segregation." ACORN's Bertha Lewis had promised, famously, that this sort of "economic segregation" would not happen. In a City Limits article she wrote in support of Ratner's project, Lewis claimed:
...More than anything, in an era of increasing housing segregation, Atlantic Yards will be one of the only neighborhoods in Brooklyn where families of all backgrounds will be able to really live and grow together. That’s because ACORN insisted, and Forest City Ratner agreed, that the affordable units be spread throughout every rental building at random on every floor. In Atlantic Yards, if the elevator works for the rich folks, it will work for the poor folks. For the first time in a project like this, low-, middle- and upper-income people will live -- literally -- together. And unless you put your pay stub on your front door, your neighbor will never know whether your unit is market price or below...
(emphasis added)
Not so any more with Governor Spitzer's signing of this bill.

When the Ratner Clause was first made public, Lewis called it "bad public policy." Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez called it a "sick deal" in his column headlined, "A Deal So Sweet It's Sick."

Mayor Bloomberg's folks told the NY Post "Pure and simple, it's a giveaway." And the City threatened to pull a different $100 million direct cash subsidy unless, according the Post "a deal providing massive tax breaks for developer Bruce Ratner is drastically revised." It was never drastically revised, unless reducing an exclusive "giveaway," that had no reason to exist (and NOBODY has defended this provision or argued for it's necessity), from $300 million to $200 million is "drastic."

It isn't.

The Brooklyn Paper editorialized about the Ratner Clause in early July. The Paper wrote:
...It is a handout to only one developer: Ratner. Our state legislators often pass laws to make it easier for real-estate developers to make a profit -- but when such a law is passed to benefit just one developer, any illusion of fairness or principal is wiped away. Is it any wonder that its drafter, Assemblyman Vito Lopez, has not responded to repeated calls from this newspaper to explain why he slipped the clause into the bill?
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries -- representing the district where "Atlantic Yards" would be built-- at a July town hall meeting said the following about the 421-a bill and the Ratner provision in it:
"And anything short of you complying with the law -- Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner -- anything short of you doing that, means to me, that the government should review completely the entire merits of this project."
All along, DDDB has been saying that this bill needs to be vetoed as long as it includes this indefensible, exclusive tax break, negotiated in a backroom. And that anyone interested in reform could see that a proper 421-a reform bill could not include giveaways.

Unfortunately, Governor Spitzer felt otherwise.

So, with this months-long saga of criticism of, and closed-door negotiations over, the indefensible provision surely there is great public upset about the survival of the Ratner Clause in the bill. Nothing.

Silence. Including the press. (Atlantic Yards Report takes a look at that silence, and the role of the "pillars of New York liberalism" reminiscent of the support Robert Moses received.)

We'll just stick to the NY Times. Early on the paper wrote clearly about the Ratner provision. Its article by Charles Bagli quoted Democratic State Senator Liz Krueger who called the Ratner provision "...a backroom deal." And Republican State Senator Frank Padavan said the special Ratner deal, "...didn’t pass the smell test." The article explained that the special provision would cost the city $300 million.

The next article from the Times reporting on negotiated changes in the bill, which would eventually be passed this week by Governor Spitzer, managed to misinform about the changes in the Ratner provision, and distort their significance. The Atlantic Yards Report analyzed that "mangling" last week.

And today, reporting on the Governor's signature on the bill, what did the Times have to say about the $200 million Ratner Clause remaining in the bill? Nothing; birds chirping. And the paper's editorial board has never written on the issue.

And one wonders how it is that the real estate industry runs New York State?



Posted: 8.25.07
DDDB.net en español.
Battle for Brooklyn
Screening Schedule

Battle Fore Brooklyn
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
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:


-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
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-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
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-City Limits City Blogs
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-Gowanus Lounge
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-Old First Blog
-DailyHeights.com
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-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Brownstoner
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
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-News 12 Brooklyn
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-Dist.35 Comm'ity Gazette
-Save Our Parks (Bronx)
-Eminent Domain Watch
-NJ Eminent Domain Law
-PLANYC
-Big Cities Big Boxes
-www.DANDOCTOROFF.com
-Olympic Bloomdoggle
-TenantServices.com
-Tenant.net