Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio wants "original interpretation" of AY

City Council Member and Public Advocate candidate Bill de Blasio continued his evasions on Atlantic Yards during an interview yesterday on the Brian Lehrer Show.

The issue came up at about 5:44, when de Blasio responded to a question about how he'd challenge Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

De Blasio first mentioned the importance of involving parents in the schools.

"I also think the administration has been wrong on development," he added. "I think in general they've given a green light to whatever plan private developers had. We haven't gotten enough affordable housing back. Not enough hiring of local residents."

"And remember, the advocate has a seat on the City Planning Commission. And that's a perfect venue to start to change our development policies and, by the way, make them universal--every neighborhood should be treated the same way, not just those that are more privileged."

What about AY?

Lehrer asked, "Do you have a position on Atlantic Yards and what should happen next?"

"I have said from the beginning I believe in the affordable housing, the hiring
of local residents and living wage levels," de Blasio said. "This vision has not been fulfilled so far. I think there should be no more subsidies. I think there should be no more demolitions. I think the company involved has to prove that they will keep to the original interpretation or we should pull the plug."

No more demolitions? De Blasio is repeating talking points from April 2008.

The original interpretation? Forest City Ratner has changed its plans in numerous ways, but the single biggest one, about which de Blasio was noticeably silent, was the revision in June of the deal for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard, saving developer Forest City Ratner more than $100 million and leading to a smaller, rather than larger (as promised), permanent railyard.

By the way, Eric Gioia's interview today didn't mention development. The other two candidates for Public Advocate, Norman Siegel and Mark Green, will be interviewed on the Brian Lehrer Show later this week.


  1. Norman, I spoke to Bill Debasio in Parkchester last night at the train station and I mentioned you by name and he gave you good praise.

    I asked him about AY, more , and the sense I got that he was on the fence when it came to the Arena. He tended to hedge a little bit.

  2. He said last week that "it's never been about the arena" and the "the arena to me is a sidelight."

    well, for Ratner it is now all about the arena, not the housing. So what is the councilman going do about it?