James, a former public defender and assistant district attorney, is a sharper-than-average member of the Council. Though she started out among the chorus of opponents to the Atlantic Yards project, she wound up backing the plan because of its affordable housing. Good call. The risk, with her, is that her tight ties to the Working Families Party and a host of public sector unions will make her likely to do their bidding in the post.From Letitia James for Public Advocate, About Tish:
Council Member James is well-known for her activity in development issues in Brooklyn. Foremost among these issues is the “Atlantic Yards” project. James has been a long-time and vocal opponent of the development, and participated in numerous organizing and community forums. She supports an alternate plan for development that is more inclusive to the true needs of the community— affordable housing, better food access, and recreational access. Furthermore, she opposed the use of eminent domain to evict residents, as well as the “closed-door” bureaucracy that included selling the property below market value.
Bloomberg let developers get away with crimes against urban planning—not, as his critics have fulminated, to help his friends get rich, but because he relied on them to pay for things that government couldn’t.