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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

Yonkers Duo Convicted in Federal Corruption Case With Ratner's Ridge Hill at Center

Today former Yonkers Councilmember Sandy Annabi and political operative Zehy Jereis were found guilty by a federal jury, after more than four days of deliberation, of several corruption charges including extortion and conspiracy to give and receive corrupt payments. Some of these actions involved Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill project in Yonkers.

From The Journal News with the (earlier today) breaking news:

Former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and her political mentor and cousin Zehy Jereis were convicted today on federal corruption charges, with the jury finding that money he gave her was to control her vote — not win her love.

Jurors found the two guilty of conspiracy, bribery and extortion charges involving nearly $200,000 in payments that prosecutors linked to Annabi's vote switches on two developments, the $842 million [Forest City Ratner] Ridge Hill project and the smaller Longfellow housing plan. She also was convicted of filing false statements on mortgage applications and submitting false tax returns.

While Forest City was never accused of any wrongdoing by the federal prosecutors, they still remain the sole corporate beneficiary of Councilmember Annabi's sudden switch from nay to yea on the Ridge Hill approval. This switch came after Forest City's (recently made) former politcal fixer Bruce Bender, after years of trying, was able to get a meeting with Annabi—that meeting was arranged by her distant cousin (and lover?) Zehy Jereis. Soon after the vote was flipped Jereis received a no-show job with Forest City Ratner for which he was unqualified. Payments for that $60,000/year job stopped when the federal investigation was revealed. (Jereis, by the way, had twice been a convicted criminal—once for drugs and once for election fraud—yet Forest City still thought it sensible to use his services and claimed it did not know his tainted history.)

But Ratner's people did no wrong. Right? They, especially they, say so. They say so in today's Times article about the Yonkers convictions:
"This trial was not about the actions of Forest City Ratner," the company said Thursday, adding it had "no knowledge of the financial relationship between Ms. [Sandy] Annabi and Mr. [Zehy] Jereis."
But they sure had knowledge that Jereis had some special avenue to Annabi that nobody else seemed to have, that Jereis was a convicted criminal, that Jereis was not qualified for the job they gave him, and they now have knowledge that the two Ratner political fixers who were central to the trial left the company days before the trial started.

So, despite their excusing of themselves, the tainted company (tainted by years of ongoing controversy over many of their projects including their biggest, Atlantic Yards) has become...more tainted. Even their friends acknowledge this, as Norman Oder points out:
Yes, Bender and Cantone testified, they had no knowledge about the financial relationship between Annabi and Jereis. But they also made no effort to check for his criminal record, or to request the reports Jereis was supposed to send in to validate his no-show consulting job. And they made sure he got paid.

That, as Greg David of Crain's New York Business--generally a friend to Forest City--might put it, sounds like "See no evil, hear no evil."

And the trial surely illuminated actions that, while not claimed as illegal, seem to violate the company's code of conduct, which bars "improper payment or promise of same."
More from Norman Oder on his Atlantic Yards Report and over at New York Magazine.

Tantalizingly Oder writes:
Forest City Ratner was not charged and has said it's not a target for investigation. Still, if Annabi and Jereis don't succeed in their appeals, or efforts to get the verdict dismissed, it would be interesting to see if either have anything more to share about the developer's behavior.

Posted: 3.29.12
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
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Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

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Brooklyn Matters

Read a review
Atlantic Yards
would be
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