Transparency and Honesty
When two parties enter into a contract, transparency and honesty are critical to ensuring that both benefit from the agreement. Over 10 years ago Forrest City Ratner Companies (F.C.R.C.) entered into a contract with our communities. We supported their development in the form of public meetings, protests, calls to politicians, and $1.5 billion in tax revenues. In exchange for this support they promised the community economic development in the form of jobs, business opportunities and affordable housing. 10 years later and it’s clear that F.C.R.C. hasn’t fulfilled the contract, doesn’t plan on it, and lacks the respect and decency to disclose how short they’ve fallen or why.
Ashley Cotton, F.C.R.C. and Their Partners
Last week Ashley Cotton, senior vice president of external affairs at Forest City Ratner Companies (F.C.R.C.), met with Devotion NYC to discuss implementation of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (C.B.A.) in our communities.
She ran off a bunch of promising statistics, but conveniently didn’t have them with her in writing. She had over a month to prepare for our meeting. As the head of the project’s public relations efforts, it’s amazing that she couldn’t produce anything in that time to show us the work they’ve alleged to have done.
We gave Ashley additional time. 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 displayed a blatant 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 us enough to willingly implement the C.B.A. fully. Ashley Cotton’s behavior is just the latest example of this issue.
F.C.R.C. and their partners don’t want to be held accountable for their actions. It’s up to all of us to make sure that they are. With your help, we’ll make sure they supply our communities with the resources and opportunities we were promised!
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