Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What CBA? Gaps in Errol Louis's column about AY supporters

In a column today headlined A neighborhood welcome, Daily News columnist (and Atlantic Yards booster) Errol Louis counters news of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's new advisory board with mini-profiles of five Brooklynites who favor the Atlantic Yards plan.

He's welcome to do that. Opinion is hardly monolithic. But two of the five people Louis profiled have ties to the Atlantic Yards project Louis didn't see fit to mention. He describes Freddie Hamilton as "a community leader from Clinton Hill" who's concerned about gun violence. He describes Delia Hunley-Adossa as "president of the 88th Precinct Community Council," an activist who works with the cops in fighting drug dealers.

How about the CBA?

Well, they're also signatories to the controversial Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which Forest City Ratner signed with only eight groups (as opposed to the pioneering CBAs in Los Angeles, which involved 20 to 30 groups). Other signatories to the Atlantic Yards CBA, such as ACORN, are contractually required to publicly support the project. Hamilton is also a pro-Atlantic Yards candidate in the 57th Assembly District, another fact absent from Louis's column.

Other signatories, such as BUILD and Herbert Daughtry's Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, have received financial support from Forest City Ratner. We've yet to learn what support, if any, the groups Hamilton and Hunley-Adossa represent have received. But they're not simply neutral neighborhood activists.

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