In the District

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With so many people from outside the 11th Congressional district weighing in on what ought to happen there, we figured it was about time to take a stroll down to the area surrounding the proposed Atlantic Yards Plan to speak to actual residents about the issues that will affect their choice in that race.

At least within the area that will be directly affected by the development, there still seemed to be some confusion about who was actually running, and the Atlantic Yards project, unsurprisingly was the big issue.

Here’s what three residents said.

Kiane Zawadi, 73, said in a brief interview on 5th Avenue off of Flatbush, “I’m trying to think of who the candidates are, Yvette Clarke, and who else?”

When provided with the names of the other candidates, Zawadi, of Prospect Heights, only reacted to Chris Owens, a familiar surname name for longtime residents of the district. “I think he needs to go further than his father.”

Zawadi is opposed to the Atlantic Yards Plan, and said that his opposition would weigh heavily on the candidate he chooses this fall.

“I think Brooklyn should be kept the way it is, you know, all these high rises going up. Plus I don’t like the idea of eminent domain.”

Down the street, Tracy Santos, 24, also of Prospect Heights, said she had received campaign literature in the mail, but couldn’t name any of the featured candidates. Santos is also opposed to the Atlantic Yards proposal–a common position within the footprint of the plan–saying, “I don’t really want an arena two blocks over, you know, I’ve seen the area around Yankee stadium and it’s not pretty.”

On 4th Avenue with his girlfriend, Emilio D., 37, who lives near the Atlantic Terminal, said he has received emails from Chris Owens through friends, but is still undecided on the best candidate to support.

“I haven’t seen anything that makes one different from another,” he said. “It would be nice to keep it a majority-minority district because, given the representation in Congress, I think it would be good. But I don’t want it to be just soley based on the individual’s race because they do have to make good on the issues, in addition to their race.”

And about that picture: it’s Yassky’s office at about 9:45 this morning. Since we were in the neighborhood.

—Nicole Brydson

UPDATE: In the wake of his cancelled press conference yesterday, Carl Andrews has officially rescheduled his event for Sunday, on the steps of City Hall.

Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Bill Thompson and David Dinkins will all be there to endorse.