Friday, October 14, 2011

Bruce Ratner, charitable contributions, and money not spent

It's difficult to look at Bruce Ratner's most recently-announced charitable gift--obviously a worthy cause--without looking at the larger context of the developer's spending.

A 10/11/11 article in the Brooklyn Eagle, headlined Memorial Fund Will Honor Young Brooklyn Activist: Hope Reichbach, 22, Council Aide, Died in April, states:
Friends and family of Hope Reichbach, the up-and-coming Brooklyn activist who died in April, will meet next week in front of the Brooklyn Supreme Court to announce a scholarship fund honoring her life.

“Our goal is to groom the future leaders of Brooklyn, because that’s what Hope was,” said Ellen Meyers, Reichbach’s mother.

The Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund has already attracted considerable support and plans to provide college students doing unpaid internships in political or community service in Brooklyn with $300-a-week cost-of-living stipends.

...Developer Bruce Ratner is one of the fund’s biggest supporters, having already promised $15,000 a year for the next five years. About 30 of Reichbach’s friends are on the fund’s steering committee, Meyers said, as well as many others.
Now Ratner went to Columbia Law School with Reichbach's father. So there's likely a personal connection involved. And it doesn't look like Ratner's p.r. people pushed this article, unlike, say, the New York Post's coverage of Ratner's "quiet" support for a Sudanese refugee.

Still, as I wrote, Ratner's been a little quieter about a lot of other things, such as the unmet obligation to fund the Independent Compliance Monitor required by the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. And, perhaps, assistance to ensure that residents near the Atlantic Yards construction site are able to sleep.

Also, Ratner can't be unmindful that Reichbach worked for Council Member Steven Levin, a moderate on Atlantic Yards who represents some of those up-all-night residents.

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