Saturday, November 07, 2009

Brooklyn Paper offers a to-do list for Bloomberg, omits Atlantic Yards

A Brooklyn Paper editorial about Mayor Mike Bloomberg's challenges headlined Mike — fix this already, lists several issues for Brooklyn, which Democratic challenger Bill Thompson won.

It cites the Gowanus Canal and then Coney Island, "Bloomberg’s other main Brooklyn re-development plan," which is something of a fudge. While Atlantic Yards may not be Bloomberg's Brooklyn re-development plan--and he may be quick to pin responsibility on the state, he surely counts it as a priority.

(Also, a New York Observer round-up of expert opinion on Bloomberg's real estate challenges omits Atlantic Yards.)

Maps from the New York Times. The first map shows the mayoral vote in 2009, with the red for Bloomberg, the blue for Thompson, and the darker the color the stronger the vote. The second map shows the vote in 2005, with the red for Bloomberg and the blue for Democrat Freddy Ferrer. The third map shows the difference.

From the Brooklyn Paper:
• Race: ...Whatever the reasons for Bloomberg’s weak numbers among blacks in Brooklyn, he needs to address that community’s apparent dissatisfaction.

• Crime: The mayor has presided over historic reductions in crime, but he can not let up now — especially considering periodic upticks in burglaries and other major crimes....

• The Gowanus Canal: The mayor made a clean-up of the Gowanus Canal a foundation of his campign pitch to Brooklynites, arguing that his solution to this century-old environmental disaster would be quicker and better than a federal Superfund designation. But his case has not been that convincing...

• Coney Island: Bloomberg’s other main Brooklyn re-development plan — to restore Coney Island to its original glory — has stalled.

• A true commuter-friendly city: Even more divisive than the racial divide is the chasm between cars, bikes, subway riders and pedestrians in this uniquely mobile city.
An AY factor?

Well, it would be tough to say that many people chose to vote for Thompson because of Atlantic Yards. In fact, it would be interesting to see whether AY opponent Rev. Billy Talen got a disproportionate number of his votes (.8% of total) in the area around the AY footprint.

Thompson, as the map suggests--darker blue for an improvement for the Democrats over 2005 and darker yellow/orange for an improvement for Bloomberg--did somewhat better in the area around the Atlantic Yards footprint than did Ferrer, even though the latter, unlike Thompson, actually came out against the project.

Thompson's status as a black Brooklynite and frustration with Bloomberg's spending and overturning of term limits likely made far more of a difference than Atlantic Yards.

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