A Pay Cut for Public Office?

In Brooklyn, grassroots activists against the Atlantic Yards project seem in need of a fresh candidate to rally around. A serious challenge to Atlantic Yards supporter Roger Green, it seems, would lift the spirits of the anti-arena groups. Could that candidate be CBS litigator Hakeem Jeffries?

Recently Roll Call (subscription required) reported that Green has been eyeing a challenge to embattled congressman Ed Towns, fearing a loss to Jeffries who mounted a great deal of support against him in past elections. Although Jeffries has not announced his plans, he did confirm that he has raised close to $60,000 for a run, to “make sure we are in the strongest possible position.”

On the stadium proposal, Jeffries told the Politicker, “It’s going to be incumbent upon the people who really care about the community as I do, to figure out how we can find a principled resolution, a principled compromise that recognizes that there are legitimate arguments being made on both sides of the equation.”

Jeffries confirmed that he will work with people on both sides of this issue, and admires the recent actions of Letitia James on behalf of activists.

“There is a problem with the scale and size of the development that’s being proposed and the strain that it is going to create on social service delivery in the community,” he continued. “There are issues with eminent domain that I think are not just being discussed locally but there’s a national debate as to how eminent domain should be used when it’s questionable how much public benefit will inure. When a private developer is behind the use of eminent domain there are concerns there that I have. I think there are also concerns that I have in terms of the strength of the community benefits agreement.”

When asked about the possible pay cut, he responded, “public service is ultimately what drives me. “

—Nicole Brydson