Atlantic Yards and the 57th District

This past Sunday at Hakeem Jeffries’ City Hall press conference announcing his third run for the State Assembly’s 57th district, four supporters were present to endorse his campaign. Errol Louis reported in last Friday’s Daily News that they were to include activists Marilyn Moseley and Katie David and Michael Gaspard, former campaign manager to Roger Green.

One other supporter was spotted in the crowd, Dan Klores Communications employee and Forest City Ratner spokeswoman, Lupe Todd, a friend of Mr. Jeffries’ who worked on his 2002 race for the 57th district, prior to working for DKC.

When reached at her office, Ms. Todd had no comment. Mr. Jeffries could not be reached.

Activists opposed to the Atlantic Yards project are dismayed at the connection between Ms. Todd and Mr. Jeffries. Daniel Goldstein, activist resident of the 57th district and supporter of Jeffries’ opponent, Bill Batson, emails over: “The community and district need advocates it can trust. Mr. Jeffries’ campaign’s association with Ms. Todd, one of Bruce Ratner’s ‘Atlantic Yards’ PR reps and lobbyists, is troubling. It raises serious questions about the infusion of private, billionaire interests into Mr. Jeffries’ assembly race.”

Mr. Jeffries has not taken a position on the project but to tell the Politicker back in February that he believes the community can come to “a principled compromise that recognizes that there are legitimate arguments being made on both sides of the equation.”

—Nicole Brydson

UPDATE: Hakeem Jeffries calls in to point out that the endorsements made at the press conference included Eric Adams, candidate for the neighboring 20th senatorial district, and Reverend Clinton Miller, of Brown Memorial Baptist Church, both critical of the Atlantic Yards project.

“I’m friends with Eric Adams, I’m friends with Lupe Todd, I’m friends with Reverend Miller, those three apparently disagree with each other about the merits of the project, but they do agree on one thing: who is the best candidate for the 57th Assembly District,” he said.