Sunday, July 11, 2010

PSCC Editor: "I actually believed the assurances [by] Forest City Ratner and its government enablers that the community’s voice would be heard"

Ezra Goldstein moves on (to the Community Bookstore in Park Slope) after six years editing the Park Slope Civic Council's Civic News--as good a community publication of its type that you'll find--and, in his final column, admits to some initial naivete about the Atlantic Yards project.

In Six Years Before the Masthead, he writes:
I am not so hubristic to claim that my more recent articles have attained perfection, but I will give myself credit for getting better over time because I had the good sense to listen to, and learn from, the wiser people by whom I was surrounded in the Civic Council and this community. I even learned a thing or two from people who astounded me with their wrong-headedness.

I resist the temptation to use stronger negatives to describe this last group because I find it difficult to give up all pretense of journalistic objectivity. I will, however, drop a broad hint about whom I am so pejoratively inclined by saying that the early articles that make me cringe the most have to do with Atlantic Yards. In retrospect, I am astounded by my naivete. I actually believed the assurances given by developer Forest City Ratner and its government enablers that the community’s voice would be heard, and that the usurpation of power from our city council and the trampling under of our city charter were merely matters of convenience and not mechanisms to run roughshod over the pesky public, and to guarantee that there would be scarcely one iota of community input into this Goliathan project.

I am not so self-critical, however, to deny that there were also many good things about my tenure having almost entirely to do with giving voice to remarkable people: campaigners and crusaders; people who care deeply about neighborhood and community; the anti-Ratners, by which I don’t mean those people who fought the project (though many of them are included in this group) but those whose love and respect for community and neighborhood are at the opposite end.
The Civic News has offered some useful AY coverage, listed here. Here's the Civic News archive.

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