Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Atlantic Yards #2: Federal Bailout? Online Petition Says Hell No

February 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We’ve also avoided the complex topic of using Federal economic recovery funds to bail out the financially sinking Atlantic Yards project. Local backers have been pulling out al the stops to lobby the governor for money and to us–who fully support a massive Federal spending plan to rescue the economy–putting money into Atlantic Yards would represent a betrayal of American taxpayers. This is a not ony a deeply controversial project opposed by many in the local community, it is far from being “shovel ready” and would be as masive taxpayer subsidy of a private development. Call it the Forest City Ratner Recovery Act of 2009. To further editoriaize and oversimplify: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong and wrong again. Not a cent of recovery funds should go to Atlantic Yards, especially given compelling public needs everywhere that would also create and save jobs. Investing that money with entrepreneurs and small businesses woudl do far more to strengthen Brooklyn and create a diversity of jobs. With the President emphasizing oversight and accountability, Atlantic Yards is the kind of project that should immediately go before a government waste panel. DDDB has made the case against using stimulus money to prop up Mr. Ratner’s project. Here’s one tiny example. In any case–although history has shown that New York State government doesn’t really care what taxpayers and voters think about the Atlantic Yards project, there is a new online petition to demonstrate opposition to the governor. It says:

I oppose the use of federal stimulus money to fund the Atlantic Yards project. The design, schedule and benefits of the project have clearly departed from what were disclosed to the public in 2006. Any allocation of stimulus to Atlantic Yards at this point would not only further reduce the project’s already unacceptable standard of accountability, it would deprive the people of New York City investment in urgently needed public works. I therefore urge you to reject any request for stimulus funds to be granted to Atlantic Yards.

The petition can be found here. We strongly urge everyone that opposes the project to sign it and even supporters to voice opposition to a massive public bailout of a private developer’s project, which is the ultimate misuse of recovery funds. There are currently nearly 1,500 signatures and there should be a HELL of a lot more. Opponents should also be raising all holy hell in Washington to persuade officials that using taxpayer funds to bailout this project will come back to haunt them as symbolizing misuse of Federal dollars.

Tags: Atlantic Yards

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Patrick Nielsen Hayden // Feb 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I signed the petition, but it absolutely sucks that petitiononline.com won’t let us see the names of the other 1700+ signatories. Allegedly this is an anti-spam measure. That may be what they intend, but in fact it’s a blow against the basic spirit of public, democratic discourse.

    For cry eye, they could obscure the email addresses and still display the names. Petition-signing is a public act. Shame on petitiononline.com.

  • 2 Anonymous // Feb 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Isn’t it about time that Ratner is forced to pay back the millions and millions that he has already received. Projects like this are useless when there is such a budget crisis going on. I can’t believe that this project is not totally dead.