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Published on Aug 4, 2009
The story of a governmental organization bending over backwards to serve one of New York State's real estate barons, Bruce Ratner. Ratner is a former New York City official who was college roomates with former Governer George Pataki.
Under Pataki, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) was directed to take 22 acres in Brooklyn for Ratner's Forest City Ratner Corporation. In its 5 year effort (to date) to take people's private homes and give them to another private citizen, the ESDC has played every trick in the book, including supporting race baiting to soften the neighborhood.
In July, 2009 the ESDC stooped to a new low by having a required public hearing on a revised project plan it was not going to release until after the hearing. Will this "outlaw organization," as it was called by one state senator, succeed in further degrading New York's Eminent Domain laws so that any well-connected billionaire can point to any neighborhood and tell the ESDC to take it for him? This landmark case may well decide the future of public corporations, the limits of Eminent Domain, and the end of huge government subsidies for wealthy corporations when times are tough on the taxpayers.
With Kevin Powell, NY City Councilperson Letitia James, NY Senator Velmanette Montgomery. Assemblyperson Jim Brennan, homeowner Daniel Goldstein, mayoral candidate and performance artist Rev. Billy, former NYCLU chief Norman Seigel, and many others.