Letter To The Governor


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Subject
ASK GOVERNOR CUOMO TO DEMAND THAT THE AYCDC AND FOREST CITY RATNER MEET WITH DEVOTION NYC TO IMPLEMENT THE ATLANTIC YARDS COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT

Forest City Ratner Companies (F.C.R.C.) didn’t initially have the community backing needed to acquire the land or to begin construction on the Atlantic Yards Project. They asked our community organizations, small businesses, and the public for their support. We answered their request. We rallied for F.C.R.C. and the Atlantic Yards Project. Our support came in the form of public meetings, protests, calls to politicians, and $1.5 billion in tax revenues. We fought on behalf of F.C.R.C. and won.

In exchange for our support, F.C.R.C. agreed to work to create an agreement that would guarantee that the company reinvest in the community for as long as the project stands. This contract between F.C.R.C. and the community is called The Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. In June of 2005 it was signed by F.C.R.C. executives and politicians in a public ceremony.

The contract promises: jobs, affordable housing opportunities, contracting and vending opportunities, retail space for our businesses and more. These resources and opportunities were specifically designated for “women and minority owned businesses”, and “low and moderate income individuals”. These resources have yet to be delivered.

Ashley Cotton of F.C.R.C. met with Devotion NYC to discuss implementation of the agreement. We asked her for a full report on F.C.R.C.’s C.B.A. work in the area of economic development. She agreed to deliver the statistics in writing. Ms. Cotton was given a week to produce this report, but she’s failed to produce anything at all. As the spokesperson for the project, Ashley Cotton’s inaction lets us know that her bosses have not taken adequate steps toward fulfilling the C.B.A., that they don’t plan on doing so and that they don’t care who knows.

F.C.R.C. has blatantly and repeatedly displayed a pattern of dismissing the economic disenfranchisement they’ve caused by not implementing the C.B.A. within our communities. It’s apparent that F.C.R.C. and their partners in the project (Greenland USA, and Onexim) don’t respect our communities enough to willingly implement the C.B.A. fully.

WHAT DO WE WANT?

Our tax dollars are funding this project while F.C.R.C. and its partners (Greenland USA and Onexim) ignore the needs of our communities. The Empire State Development Corporation and its subsidiary, The Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AYCDC), are using our state tax dollars to support this project. Governor Andrew Cuomo is the leader of these corporations.

We’re asking that Governor Cuomo demand that the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation meet with Devotion NYC, our affiliate organizations and businesses, to create a plan to fully implement the economic development components of The Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement.

I want Governor Cuomo to demand that The AYCDC meet with Devotion NYC to implement the CBA.

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