Monday, August 14, 2006

Adams and Alexis in the 20th District

We hadn't included the 20th Senate District, which abuts the proposed "Atlantic Yards" site, in our "Atlantic Yards" Voter Guide because we felt that both candidates were wafflers and weren't really sure where they stood.

We should have known better.

Both candidates–Eric Adams, co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care and Anthony Alexis, former council legislative director for Ratner-fueled 18th district candidate Tracy Boyland, support the project until we hear otherwise PUBLICLY from them. (There are three others running, but don't seem to be actively campaigning and we have no idea where they stand on anything.)

This morning Gotham Gazette takes a look at the 20th, a seat vacated by Ratner supporter Carl Andrews who is currently running in the 11th Congressional primary race.
Even though the proposed Atlantic Yards project is not in State Senate District 20, the project is a central issue in this year's Senate race. The high rises and basketball arena will not be built in the district itself, but they will be a few blocks away.

Anthony Alexis, who served as legislative director for former New York City Councilmember Tracy Boyland, supports the Atlantic Rail Yards project because, he said, it will "support job creation for our community." But while he supports the plan for high rises and a basketball arena, Alexis is opposed to one of its central aspects: the use of eminent domain. "I don’t support taking people’s homes or property," Alexis insisted, "There are ways of sitting at the table with the developer and ensuring that the project happens without taking the homes of people."<

Eric Adams, the co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, has not taken a position on the Atlantic Yards plan. He says he wants to look at the issues of environment, affordable housing and labor before reaching a decision.

Adams and Alexis are competing for the seat being vacated by Carl Andrews, who is running for Congress. As of the July filing deadline, Adams raised more than $86,000; Alexis almost $24,000. Two other candidates – Democrat Guillermo Philpotts and Conservative James Gay – are also running, but neither could be reached for comment and they do not seem to be actively campaigning...
Ambiguous words from Alexis and confounding prevarication from Adams.

Let's tackle Alexis first. His support of the project is because of "job creation for our community." Yet by Ratner's own admission, the arena jobs would go first to those who hold them now due to union rules. The orginally announced 10,000 jobs are now down to about 2,300 only a third of which, or about 750 might be new. (Not a glowing number for a $2 billion public investment.) And how many will go to "our community?" Very few. And those who are struggling the most for employment, unfortunately, do not have a lot to hope for in this project if it's built. Yes, it is stated that there will be an average of 1,500 contruction jobs over a ten year build out period, but the building trades have not been kind to "our community" nor had Forest City Ratner fulfilled their bloated construction-jobs-for-locals promises with Metrotech, Atlantic Center or Atlantic Terminal Malls. So Alexis' sole reason for supporting the project is on VERY shaky ground.

Alexis says he supports the project, and then says, "I don't support taking people's homes or property." Mr. Alexis should understand that "Atlantic Yards" cannot be built without taking homes and properties by eminent domain, (or rent-stabilized units for that matter) and it is the threat of eminent domain that has been wielded insidiously by the developer for the past three years. Meaning eminent domain has already been used and abused and the only way for the project to be built is further use and abuse of eminent domain. So while Alexis talks a good game about not supporting eminent domain, he supports the project, and in so doing, tacitly supports eminent domain for its construction.

As for the frontrunning Eric Adams, his story is more disappointing and disturbing. Adams has thought a long time about this project. How do we know? Well Adams emceed and spoke at all of the Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) sponsored rallies since 2004. At each he spoke against the project. (Here he is at a June 2005 anti-"Atlantic Yards" rally and here he is at DDDB's walkathon/rally in November 2005.) Now, a month before the primary he tells the Gotham Gazette that he has not taken a position on the Atlantic Yards plan. He says he wants to look at the issues of environment, affordable housing and labor before reaching a decision. This would make Adams a one-of-a-kind political animal–the only politician or candidate who opposed the project and then supported it. Because, at this late date, such equivocation and fence-jockeying is de facto support.

We'll leave it to Dope on the Slope's sage comment on this blog's first Hakeem Jeffries post (3rd comment down); a comment we wholehearedly endorse and base this blog upon:
The question should always very clearly be stated as "Do you support THIS proposal as it CURRENTLY stands?"

Not "Do you support affordable housing?" or "Do you support FCR?" or "Do you support development of Atlantic Yards?"

Hakeem can't equivocate on this question. There is no "on the other hand." You either support the project described in the DEIS and the process, or you don't.

There are no do-overs folks, and the only possible relief is in the courts if this thing goes through.
The same applies to Adams and Alexis.

Anti-"Atlantic Yards" voters in the 20th, we are sorry, but when it comes to the Ratner plan we guess we have to leave you to choose between the lesser of two weasels.

--------------------------
The following was posted as a comment from "Marquez." We are still suspicious of Adams' comments in the Gazette.
Marquez said...
When I first read your post last week that Adams was unsure about his position on the Atlantic Yards, I reached out to him for clarification. He told me that the Gazette did not clearly state his comments. He further stated that his position did not change from being opposed to the project as it currently stands. To make his point very clear he told me to attend the press conference at city hall the next day and he will public state his position. At the press conference the Speaker of the City Council endorsed him. When Mr. Adams was asked “was he for or against the Atlantic Yards project” he stated without hesitation that he was against the project as it currently stands. His comments were also printed in the NY Daily News the next day. As long as I have been following Eric Adams, I have always found him to be approachable and willing to public state his positions. You may not always agree with him but he is always up front. He did it as a cop and I think he will do it as a senator. He gets my vote.

10:17 PM

2 Comments:

At 1:17 AM, Blogger Marquez said...

When I first read your post last week that Adams was unsure about his position on the Atlantic Yards, I reached out to him for clarification. He told me that the Gazette did not clearly state his comments. He further stated that his position did not change from being opposed to the project as it currently stands. To make his point very clear he told me to attend the press conference at city hall the next day and he will public state his position. At the press conference the Speaker of the City Council endorsed him. When Mr. Adams was asked “was he for or against the Atlantic Yards project” he stated without hesitation that he was against the project as it currently stands. His comments were also printed in the NY Daily News the next day. As long as I have been following Eric Adams, I have always found him to be approachable and willing to public state his positions. You may not always agree with him but he is always up front. He did it as a cop and I think he will do it as a senator. He gets my vote.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger atlanticyardsvoterguide said...

If this is true, that is very good to hear. We'll move your comment up.

do you have a link to the Daily News article?

we are suspicious though about his comments in the Gazette.

 

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