Two Years Later

Suddenly, two years after downtown Brooklyn was rezoned, activists are waking up to a crop of luxury condos thriving in what used to be a low-income area. First, it was ACORN’s report on how just 7 percent of the new units planned for the area are affordable to low- or middle-income families. Now, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality will hold a “boisterous march” and forum Saturday afternoon with Congressional candidates from the 10th and 11th districts at P.S. 261.

All fine and good, but if they are so against all the luxury housing, where were they two years ago, before the rezoning passed the City Council, when they would have had more leverage?

Chairwoman Beverly Corbin tells us that FUREE, at least, was in Park Slope, working on welfare and child care, only recently moving downtown. ACORN, according to spokesman Jonathan Rosen, saw the subsequent rezonings of North Brooklyn and Hudson Yards as the “best opportunities to force the issue and move the city to change its policy.”

We imagine that on Saturday, the candidates will be asked where they were two years ago also. Three were and are still City Council Members: Yvette Clarke, David Yassky and Charles Barron. Only Barron expressed any dissent towards the downtown Brooklyn plan.

-Matthew Schuerman