Sunday, December 21, 2014

Brooklyn Chamber head responds (incompletely) to detractors about 2016 DNC; with fundraising tweak, Congress boosts prospects of Philly, Columbus

In a Daily News op-ed published today, Brooklyn has the diversity and the attractions to make it the perfect host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president Carlo Scissura responds to "detracting mumblings regarding potential problems the convention could cause for New Yorkers."

He writes:
With 25 hotels and more than 2,000 rooms already available in the borough — and another 22 projects totaling 2,208 rooms in the pipeline — there’s no question Brooklyn is well equipped to handle the convention.
Given that the convention should draw 35,000 people, I'm not sure what that means. Is there supposed to be a baseline number within walking distance of the convention location? If so, we should know.

He continues:
Traffic is nothing new for Brooklynites or any New Yorker. It has never stopped us from hosting the biggest events in the world, and the DNC should be no different. The MTA has promised to increase service if Brooklyn is chosen, and with 11 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road near the Barclays Center, there’s no reason to even bring your car.
If everyone takes public transit, that certainly would relieve many fears. But one big question mark regards the planned shutdown of traffic lanes to allow buses to move quickly from Manhattan.

Good for local business?

Scissura writes:
The biggest falsehood floating around is that the DNC will be bad for local businesses, when in reality it will be a financial boon unlike any Brooklyn has ever seen.
Tens of thousands of additional people will be walking the streets of our borough, and shopping, eating and spending their money in our local businesses. Not only will the increase in foot traffic around the Barclays Center help surrounding shops, but Brooklyn is so popular nationally, there is no doubt visitors will explore our neighborhoods.
It depends what "local" means. Surely the influx of visitors would help many businesses in locations relatively near the Barclays Center--though I wouldn't bet on Dyker Heights or Bushwick, two neighborhoods a good hike from both the arena and midtown Manhattan.

As for "surrounding shops," we don't know how many would be in the "security perimeter" and forced to close. So any statement about the very local impact should be specific.

A boost for Philly and Columbus

The Daily News reported Friday, in Bill passed by Congress could hurt de Blasio's bid for 2016 Democratic convention:
A provision quietly slipped into an end-of-the-year spending bill approved by Congress could dash Mayor de Blasio’s dream of hosting the 2016 Democratic convention in Brooklyn, people involved in the bidding said.
The provision would allow an individual to give a political party as much as $97,200 a year to help underwrite the party’s presidential convention. That’s three times the size of the maximum annual donation previously permitted.
Until now, one of de Blasio’s key talking points for hosting the Democratic gathering was City Hall’s ability to line up donors to pay convention costs.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who leads Philadelphia’s convention bid, said the change helps both Philadelphia and Columbus. He also cracked, “Our roof isn’t leaking,” a reference to accident that stalled the Nets-Heat game Tuesday night.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:37 PM

    With recent police shootings, a leaky roof at the Barclay Center, protests the Brooklyn Chamber seems in denial that they might be the choice of the DNC.

    ReplyDelete