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All letters in PDF format

Letter to Community Boards 2,6 and 8, requesting equal time for opposing views to the Ratner plan. At their lasts meetings they provided time for Forest City Ratner, ACORN and BUILD, all proponents of the plan, with no time for opponents. The letter requests agenda time for the presentation of the community-created Atlantic Yards Development Workshop plan and requests detailed information from Jim Stuckey, including detailed financial information, about the project. read the letter here


Read DDDb and 14 community and civic organizations' Open Letter to Community Boards 2,6,8 concerning their involvement in what has so far been an illegitimate Community Benefits Negotiation.


Letter to Borough President Markowitz, criticizing his secretive, devisive approach to meeting with the Community, while denying ULURP
(pdf version).

September 28, 2004
Honorable Borough President Markowitz:

I understand that you have invited a selected group of "community organizations and elected officials" to meet with you on September 29, 2004, to share ideas about the coming development of the Atlantic Yards complex.

Your invitation states: "As Borough President I am committed to finding solutions to community concerns about this project that work for your neighborhoods and for all of Brooklyn. At this meeting, I would like to discuss the Atlantic Yards development in general, talk about the project time line and look at the process as the project moves through state review."

I’m writing on behalf of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDb) to officially protest the random manner in which you are attempting to engage the community regarding this project.

There are rumors in the community that over the past few months you have been engaging with BUILD and ACORN in closed door meetings to help broker a 'Community Benefits Agreement' (CBA) deal between them and FCR. Despite repeated requests by members of the community, this CBA being negotiated, purportedly for the community, has not been made available to us. Regardless of the veracity of these rumors, now you are engaging another select group of organizations to represent the community. DDDb protests the illegitimate methods you are engaging to involve the community.

For example, it is irrefutable DDDb is a community organization that is in a leadership position when it comes to any discussion on the proposed Atlantic Yards development. Furthermore, DDDb represents a large portion of the affected neighborhoods, and we are the only community organization directly representing the people who will be most immediately affected by the proposed development–those homeowners, business owners, and tenants who would be displaced by the project.

Yet, we have been informed in no uncertain terms, by Mr. John Benguiat from your office, that this meeting, supposedly for "community organizations", is not open to us. We highlight this point, not because we feel that the community voice would be more effectively represented via our organization, but rather to emphasize that the process you are using for community input is erratic, illegitimate, and lacking in checks and balances.

Mr. Markowitz, on August 2, DDDb and 14 community organizations urged our political representatives to do all they could to ensure that the proposed Ratner Arena Highrise project be kept within ULURP, (http://dddb.net/letters/ULURP.pdf). On August 19, this position was reiterated by Fort Greene Association
(http://www.dddb.net/letters/FGA_letter.pdf). On September 9, all three of our community boards re-iterated that the only effective way to engage the community and ensure our input into the process is via ULURP. Yet, rather than ensure that every member of the community has an equal voice in public hearings, you continue to attempt to have the community represented via closed meetings with selected organizations.

DDDb would like to formally register its protest at the illegitimacy of the process you are using to ensure community involvement in the decision-making surrounding the development of the Atlantic Yards.

On a separate note, your letter states that the proposed project is will be moving under state review. We would like to know why you are saying this. We are not aware that such an agreement has been signed between the City and the State and request that you inform your constituency as to when this decision was made, and provide us with the appropriate documentation.

Sincerely, Develop Don't Destroy

DDDb Letter to the International Olympic Committee Members and President Dr. Rogge.
excerpt
As citizens of New York City, we therefore feel that we must call on you and the IOC to refute these claims by reaffirming to New York City’s bid committee and public officials that:
1. The IOC does not countenance bids that involve the gratuitous destruction of homes and neighborhoods, when suitable alternatives exist (as they do in New York City); and

2. The IOC does not countenance bids that circumvent a candidate city’s normal approval process in the name of attracting an Olympics...


DDDb Letter to the Executive Director of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board
excerpt
I am writing on behalf of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn to lodge a Conflicts of Interest complaint about City Planning Commissioner Ms. Dolly Williams. It appears that Ms. Williams has broken the law as described in Chapter 68 of the Ethics Law of the City Charter...

Ms. Williams has at least a $1million investment in Mr. Ratner's proposed arena and high rise development...

Therefore we are calling on you and the Conflicts of Interest Board to look into this matter immediately. We expect that you will require Ms. Williams to give up her financial interest in Mr. Ratner’s project, since she made her investment during her tenure as an employee of the City. If she doesn’t take this step, we will call on the DA to begin an effort to prosecute her for her conflict under criminal law...


The Fort Greene Association, which has joined the DDDb coalition, has written the following position statement Opposing the Ratner Proposal
excerpt
Dear Speaker Silver,

This letter is to place on record the opposition of The Fort Greene Association, representing the community of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Project as proposed by Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). While the Fort Greene community welcomes responsible development in the downtown Brooklyn area in general and of the MTA Atlantic Terminal in particular, we most ardently object to the use of City, State and Federal funds for the FCRC venture without review from the communities which it will directly affect...


DDDb and 14 Community Organizations Call for Assembly to Pass Bill Requiring City Oversight for Ratner Proposal
excerpt
Dear Assemblyman Gottfried,

The citizens of Brooklyn and New York City are under threat of a massive development proposal for Prospect Heights, Brooklyn bypassing all city review and oversight, with anend-run around ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure). Without ULURP ourcommunities have no input into this project and our city legislators will have no oversight or opportunity to vote on the proposal...

Untitled Document

Visit DanZanes.com
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's
Position Statement


Who Opposes Ratner's Proposal?

Principles For Responsible Community Development On The Vanderbilt Rail Yards


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Our neighors need our help...

March 4, 2006
Vigil Marks Week Since Brooklyn Family Killed In Suspicious Fire

Make checks payable to:
The Fofana Family Fund
Reference #800764350
Carver Federal Savings Bank
4 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
For more information, please call Council Member Letitia James
718-260-9191

"Community" Benefits Agreement btwn Ratner & 8 groups (pdf)

Housing MOU btwn ACORN and Ratner (pdf)

Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ratner, New York City and State.
MOU with NY City & State
(see MTA Letter to Forest City Ratner).
Who we are

Develop–Don't Destroy Brooklyn is advocating to bring greater transparency, government accountability and community involvement to the development of the Atlantic Yards area in Brooklyn. We challenge Bruce Ratner's proposed Nets Arena and 17 Highrise development plan for the area.
What is Ratner proposing?


People in Brooklyn may want the Nets, but no one wants a secret, taxpayer- subsidized sweetheart deal forced on Brooklyn’s communities. We want a development plan that's good for Brooklyn, not simply good for Mr. Ratner and his friends.
What's wrong with Ratner's proposal?


Develop–Don’t Destroy Brooklyn leads a broad-based community coalition fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them.
DDDb's list of achievements.


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