Monday, October 15, 2007

Tues. 10/16: Tish James & FUREE protest Eminent Domain Abuse

Here is a press release from the office of NYC Council Member Letitia James and FUREE:

Please join Council Member Letitia James, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), along with elected officials, community leaders, property owners, and supporters as they advocate for the preservation of historic buildings in downtown Brooklyn, and protest the abuse of eminent domain

This Tuesday, October 16th at 2:00 PM, all will gather on the Steps of City Hall for a rally in light of the City of New York’s recent withdrawal of its eminent domain plan for Downtown Brooklyn

(Brooklyn, NY) - In response to the Eminent Domain Procedure Law Petition filed on behalf of residents and businesses of Downtown Brooklyn, the City has rescinded its eminent domain findings and will hold a new hearing. This reprieve gives advocates of historic home preservation more time to use political pressure to alter the footprint that includes historic properties at risk of government condemnation.

“I stand firm with my Duffield Street constituents in protecting their historic homes, as well as the hallowed site of the Underground Railroad. The City’s objective to take these properties by eminent domain would lead to an unconscionable action with irreparable consequences. We can develop Downtown Brooklyn without sacrificing our history. Historic homes in Brooklyn should be preserved at all costs,” said Council Member James.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), has withdrawn its eminent domain determination because it failed to enter a blight determination into the public record. Now the public process must start all over from the beginning, including another public hearing on October 29th, and a 60-day determination period to follow. The community views the recent withdrawal by New York City of eminent domain use in Downtown Brooklyn as an interim victory for many hard working families, as well as business owners, who have resided on their properties for decades.

“My criticism of the Bloomberg Administration’s condemnation of historic properties is well known; I am especially critical of the seizing of homes that may have been involved with the Underground Railroad for the development of an underground parking lot,” said Council Member James adding, “I have filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in support of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality and Joy Chatel. Both my constituents and I object to development that deprives future generations knowledge of this country’s history, and its involvement with the institution of slavery.”

WHAT: Press event to discuss the recent battle won against New York City’s use of eminent domain in Downtown Brooklyn

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16th, at 2:00 PM

WHERE: The Steps of City Hall

CONTACT: Amyre Loomis or Alfred Chiodo - (718) 260-9191