Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Forest City doesn't deliver on promised statistics regarding Community Benefits Agreement

I wrote 2/24/16 how Michael West of Devotion NYC, the fledgling organization pushing for community accountability, met with Forest City External Affairs executive Ashley Cotton, reporting that she "confidently communicated a number of stats regarding employment, construction contracting, post-construction contracting, business development and more."

West said the "figures sounded overwhelmingly positive upon first listen. She agreed to send us [a written record]! This is a huge for the community." I responded skeptically that Forest City had not even hire the Independent Compliance Monitor required by the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement.

Well, Devotion NYC followed up, reporting 2/29/16:
We gave Ashley additional time. We asked her for a full report on F.C.R.C.’s C.B.A. work in the area of economic development. She agreed to deliver the statistics in writing. Ms. Cotton was given a week to produce this report, but she’s failed to produce anything at all.
As the spokesperson for the project, Ashley Cotton’s inaction lets us know that her bosses have not taken adequate steps toward fulfilling the C.B.A., that they don’t plan on doing so and that they don’t care who knows.
F.C.R.C. has displayed a blatant pattern of dismissing the economic disenfranchisement they’ve caused by not implementing the C.B.A. within our communities. It’s apparent that F.C.R.C. and their partners in the project (Greenland USA, and Onexim) don’t respect us enough to willingly implement the C.B.A. fully.
Well, that's not surprising. And even if Forest City had produced--or does produce--a report, there are ample reasons for skepticism about their self-reporting.

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