Thursday, August 14, 2014

As de Blasio touts 2016 DNC, some locals express skepticism about inconvenience and Atlantic Yards taint

Convention will help city, mayor says, according to the 8/12/14 Crain's New York Business:
Some local politicians have questioned whether the convention would be more of a headache than a benefit, especially to the community surrounding the Barclays Center. But Mr. de Blasio insisted the event, which is expected to attract more than 30,000 attendees, would be "economically inclusive." As one example, he said minority- and women-owned companies should be a priority when doling out contracts for convention services.
"There are a lot of jobs associated" with the convention, he said. "And a lot of opportunity we can provide, particularly to people in parts of Brooklyn who deserve that opportunity. ... That is a priority for us."
The same day, WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show aired some skepticism about the 2016 Democratic National Convention from both the host, callers, and commenters.

Those commenting were decidedly mixed. Those positive thought it would be a memorable event and good for business. Those negative cited inconveniences regarding traffic, crowds, and protesters  as well as lingering resentment about Atlantic Yards.

One commenter, Tricia from Windsor Terrace, even suggest Atlantic Yards be eminent domained and turned into a "central zocalo."

Lehrer asked "is there lingering Atlantic Yards politics, don't make Barclays Center a showplace?"

Yes, replied the caller. "We need jobs, but we weren't treated with respect." (Note that Lehrer was not using the term Pacific Park.)

Another commenter, Kerry in Fort Greene, said he was a Democrat, but "given the politics of how the Barclays Center was created, and how the project was not fully created"--Lehrer interjected to say it was moving forward--"it kind of leaves a sour taste in my mouth."

No one mentioned the issue I brought up: a Russian oligarch as minority owner of the arena and the Chinese government as majority owner of the project (minus the arena and first tower).

Lehrer, who early in the program scoffed at Sen. Chuck Schumer's report about whizzing from Brooklyn to midtown by vehicle in 15 minutes, mused that he thought the convention would go to Philadelphia or Columbus, rival cities in swing states.

Posted comments, pro and con
alanwrightBring it on. This is the natural consequence of Brooklyn's 20+ years of redevelopment and rebranding. Brooklynites (many of whom are transplants) know the benefits of this redevelopment. They cannot and should not stop the party now, especially if it's an opportunity to focus on urban and regional planning, mass transit and rail, and investing in cultural life.
 Also, in not letting cities or economies collapse.
 Who cares that their hotels will be in Manhattan? The same was true for the disaster that was Chris Christie's Super Bowl. The difference is that the NYC subway can handle the bump in ridership.
Philip Vitale from Brooklyn
I'm lifelong Democrat and a long time Brooklyn resident (34 years). But I say: NO stay out of Brooklyn and go to Madison Square garden or the Javitts center or someplace else in the U.S. Really like we don't have enough traffic and train problems as it is. I've been a de Blasio supporter (beginning to wonder now) and I don't like that this is a blatant attempt for him to raise his political profile. Not to mention that this is going to cost tax payers money regardless of what he says. (Oh ten million tops, he says) And on that subject why would it cost tax payers in any case. Why wouldn't the DNC and their donors pay for everything as well as make a major donation to NYC if they took over the Barclay center? Really let's get some priorities straight in this city. 
k from brooklyn
For two days there have been hundreds of policeman, streets closed off so that buses of convention judges led by deBlasio could show off how they could all get through Brooklyn for the convention. What did that cost the taxpayers? I saw many policemen standing around the neighborhoods near by doing nothing for the whole day being paid with our money so that deBlasio could make his case in the hope to be on a stage at the Democratic Convention. AT the Barclay's Center the circling sign flashes DNC 2016. DeBlasio said that no shops would be closed or lose business if the convention is held there. Ha Ha. The neighborhoods will be under assault with helicopters and police and closed streets.
Any place but Brooklyn!
Rob from Ft. Greene
This is nothing but a chance for blowhards like Chuck Schumer and now Bill de Blasio to have a high-profile stage to show off on. What real benefit is there? Does anyone really think that it will bring a net financial gain to the city? Does New York need any more attention?
 Anyhow, the Barclays City is a failed project - is anyone going to mention the broken promises about affordable housing and jobs if the convention is here?
LK from Brooklyn
Hell, no! It would be horrible for Brooklyn. It would create a reason to set up more of a police state. Bratton did not say anything to indicate that it would be anything different than the RNC where there was wide spread abuse of civil rights.
I wonder if this was a promise made to Ratner by deBlasio since Ratner shoveled money to deBlasio's campaign as did much of the real estate industry.
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn
1. It is true that there are insufficient hotel rooms in Brooklyn for all the DNC delegates, so many of them would probably be staying in lower Manhattan and/or midtown.
2. I would not expect many of the delegates to drive. It's simply insane to expect that. That's why we have subways. I would expect the MTA to put on extra trains for the duration, and put them on ALL DAY because the convention is really a 25-hour-a-day three-ring circus with people coming and going at odd hours. It would probably be a good idea to have a discounted or limited MetroCard for the duration of the convention so the delegates never have to worry about how to get around.
3. If this August is any measure, it seems that everyone who lives here is out of town, so I don't think it would be a problem. It would keep the economy of Brooklyn and Manhattan running until everyone gets back from the Hamptons. Traffic is reduced right now, so if they feel they MUST drive, but I think they'll find out why we use the subway quickly enough.

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