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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

A forum tonight for the 35th District Council candidates, and some questions

I'll have more coverage on this race.

Tonight, from 7-8:30 pm, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and other organizations are sponsoring a forum for candidates in the 35th Council District, including Democratic incumbent Laurie Cumbo, her rival Ede Fox (a former Council staffer), and Green Party candidates Jabari Brisport and Scott Hutchins.

While there's value to hearing other voices, the Green candidates are a bit of a sideshow, given the limited time, in the hard-fought contest between Cumbo and Fox, who were two among five candidates in 2013.

The forum will be held at P.S. 9, 80 Underhill Avenue, and moderated by Rachel Holliday Smith of DNAinfo. The primary vote is Tuesday, Sept. 12. The district includes Prospect Heights (site of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project), Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and part of Crown Heights.

A preview and some issues

Politico, previewing the event, notes the focus on the Bedford Union Armory and the mayor's development :
Fox, who has consistently attacked City Hall's plan to redevelop the vacant Bedford Armory into a mixed-use facility with income-restricted and market-rate apartments, condos, a recreation center and office space. Cumbo has said she won't support the current plan, but Fox has accused her of taking too long to reach that conclusion. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams rejected parts of the proposal last week. Sensing one of his Council allies is in trouble over his own housing plan, Mayor Bill de Blasio has staff monitoring the race and helping Cumbo.
The armory issue led the New York Daily News, the only daily newspaper to endorse in the race (so far) to back Cumbo. (The Times, which in 2013 backed Fox, appears to be sitting this one out.) Cumbo has been endorsed by some major unions (teachers, hotel workers, SEIU, DC37) and the local political hierarchy (Mayor, Borough President, Congress members, Assembly/Senate), as well as several fellow Council members.

StreetsPAC backs Fox, citing her commitment to transportation improvements; Streetsblog noted that Fox, in a debate with Cumbo, was more receptive to congestion pricing. Fox has been endorsed by some more construction-oriented unions (mason tenders, ironworkers, laborers, transit workers), the good-government group Citizens Union (the only race in which CU backs a challenger), Tenants PAC, and New York Communities for Change. The latter two groups are critical of de Blasio's development agenda.

I've pointed out Cumbo's vulnerability on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. (I'd add that, during a dispute over closing the factory producing modules for the 461 Dean/B2 tower, Cumbo and other elected officials reflexively backed developer Forest City Ratner.)

Some questions

Community members were invited to post questions for the candidates online, and vote on the submitted questions they would like to hear answered. Here are some top questions:
Most of the Mayor's goal of 80,000 new affordable apartments will be produced through partnerships with private developers, who will receive subsidized financing and tax abatements for their projects. Do you believe this policy is working well for the people of New York City, and if not, what will you do about it? 
The Governor has called for a congestion pricing policy in Manhattan to help fund public transit. Do you support the idea of congestion pricing, and what would a successful plan require? 
As population density continues to rise, what do you see as the best way to prioritize inclusion of open green space as critical infrastructure in our community? 
How do you define affordable housing? If there was a proposal for rezoning the Bedford Union Armory on your desk, how much affordable housing would have to be a part of it for you to approve it? 
A lot of residents want to prevent new housing in our community because they believe it causes displacement, but Brooklyn's population keeps growing. What is your suggestion for creating more apartments to meet this growth, and how will you make sure my children have an affordable home in Brooklyn? 
This one's not a top question, but speaks to concerns of people living near the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site.
What would you do to address the rat infestation we're having Prospect Heights due to all the construction? The incumbent has done nothing to help, despite repeated appeals to her office. The city has meanwhile made other parts of the city priorities for rodent eradication. What would you do and what would you require of developers responsible for the construction?

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