Forest City Ratner’s spokesman Joe DePlasco said a few weeks ago that he should have sent out a press release when the developer first paid out money to the community groups that are supporting the Atlantic Yards development—and saved himself and his client a huge headache. The new communications policy seems to be in effect: a press release announced today that Forest City had given the Downtown Brooklyn Educational Consortium $87,000. DBEC has created a consortium of nonprofit organizations in Brooklyn that “will focus on a wide range of programs, including establishing four charter schools, a healthy start initiative and a housing program for senior citizens who are raising their grandchildren,” according to the press release. DBEC itself is a new organization which the Secretary of State’s website does not list as incorporated. Its chairwoman is Freddie Hamilton, who is also executive director of the Child Development Support Corporation, which itself is going to be part of the consortium setting up the charter schools and other stuff. She was also the candidate backed by Assemblymember Roger Green for the chairmanship of the Brooklyn Democratic Party—but lost out to Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
The bigger picture here: the eight signatories of the Atlantic Yards community benefits agreement, criticized for being too few in number, are looking for ways to branch out.