Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Downtown Brooklyn Partnership video touts 2016 DNC bid, steers clear of Prospect Heights

For locals, the Barclays Center is in Prospect Heights, at the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. For the developers of the Project Formerly Known as Atlantic Yards, the arena is in the odd new micro-neighborhood of Pacific Park.

For backers of the bid to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) to the arena, however, the Barclays Center is very much in Downtown Brooklyn.

Hence the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership's new 1:50 video, released at the same time a new website seeks New Yorkers' backing for the convention. The website is paid for by the 112-member host committee, which has already raised $15 million toward the $100 million goal.

The video features such luminaries as arena developer Bruce Ratner and Nets' CEO Brett Yormark, as well as people from various companies, organizations and schools in Downtown Brooklyn--supporting the bid. (The DBP is co-chaired by Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, and the company has long had significant influence.)

The video text states:
Show your support by sharing this video using the hashtag #DNCNYC and visiting the City's DNC website at for more information.
Downtown, not Prospect Heights

The video was produced in partnership with BRIC. Yes, it's the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and its members/supporters/contacts, so there's no Prospect Heights presence.

Still, it's notable that no residents or businesses from Prospect Heights--the zone where the convention would have the greatest impact--appear.

I'm sure there are more complicated feelings than the blanket support expressed in the video.

By the way, one guy, "Brooklyn resident Norman Ryan," gets to stand in for "127,000+ residents." That's a stretch.

I assume that number aims to encompass not only Downtown Brooklyn (maybe 15,000 residents) but the adjacent row-house

The video

Among the messages on the signs:
  • "It would mean more customers for my business"
  • "More patrons for our theaters and galleries"
  • "A chance to spark our next big ideas"
  • "A chance to tell the world our comeback story—a truly American story" 

The latter sign was held by the Nets' Mason Plumlee. I'm not sure he qualifies. But at least he's still with the team. Nets players who get trotted out for public appearances--I'm thinking Jorge Gutierrez at the MetroTech tree lighting a few weeks ago--sometimes get traded away.

What next?

Brooklyn is a finalist with Philadelphia and Columbus for the convention. New York offers the biggest media platform and the wealthiest host committee. It may pose logistical issues--few hotel rooms in Brooklyn, travel challenges to the arena--and isn't a swing stage.

The Democratic National Committee should make its selection in January or February.

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