Sunday, July 04, 2010

Hakeem Jeffries returns for summer "office hours" at subway stops; ask him about AY and the vague governance bill

Beginning Wednesday, July 7, for the fourth straight year, central Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries will host his “Summer at the Subway” evening office hours (schedule below) at subway stops in his 57th District.

Jeffries and staff members will visit stops in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods.

The stops closest to the Atlantic Yards site, all to be visited from 5-7 pm, are:
  • the Bergen Street/Flatbush Avenue stop on the 2/3 trains (Wednesday, July 14)
  • the Seventh Avenue stop on the B/Q trains (Tuesday, July 20)
  • the Fulton Street/S. Oxford Place stop on the C train (Tuesday, August 10)
  • the Hanson Place/Fort Greene Place exit at the Atlantic Avenue station, serving the B/Q/2/3/4/5 trains (Wednesday, August 18)
What to discuss

“Evening office hours give me the opportunity to assist residents who otherwise might not be able to stop by the office during the weekday,” said Jeffries in a press release. “It also allows me to stay engaged with the issues that are impacting the community.”

That press release cited "[n]eighborhood issues like affordable housing, employment, rising rental costs, crime, and the city’s public school system."

Jeffries' web site highlights the following issues, all surely less controversial in his district than Atlantic Yards:
What about AY?

Note that Atlantic Yards is not a priority, perhaps because Jeffries--who's long taken a cautious position on the project--doesn't think he can do that much about it and perhaps because it's an issue on which his constituents are divided, and resigned.

Jeffries neither attended the March 11 groundbreaking of the arena nor did he issue any public statement pro or con. (Council Member Letitia James did issue a critical statement.)

He has pushed to ensure that 200 of the planned 1930 condos on site are subsidized, but we haven't heard much about that lately.

And he has sponsored a new version of a bill to establish a governance entity for Atlantic Yards, a bill that the Empire State Development Corporation happens to support.

Given the ESDC's resistance to oversight, that's a bit of a red flag.

Jeffries acknowledged that, "The bill, as written, still requires significant negotiation between elected officials, community leaders and ESDC as to the precise nature of the governance structure moving forward."

Which means that, unless it's written into the legislation, the governance entity could be toothless. It's worth some questions for Jeffries.
Summer at the Subway Mailer 2010

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