The race for the 57th assembly district will mostly likely have two major components. First, that there is fresh blood running. Second, that the campaign will be highly polarized by the Atlantic Yards project.
“I don’t know what his position is” “I’ve never heard him give a definitive position, even to say that he’s undecided.”
“I don’t know what that middle ground is, in his view.” “He’s got to say what [a principled compromise] means.”
“There are always compromise positions, but there are very many non-negotiable aspects of Ratner’s project from the point of view of the people who are very concerned or opposed to that project. Those are the size and density of it, the scale, the eminent domain, the process, environmental impact, the divisiveness in the community, the amount of public money with no oversight.”
“We’re tired of hearing politicians say ‘we’re very concerned about the scale’ and ‘we’re very concerned about eminent domain’ or ‘against the use of eminent domain’ but ‘I support the porject’ or ‘I have no position on the project.’ those other words are meaningless when they are followed by I support the project.”
A lot of activists in this community are paying close attention to that race,
“I think the activists in this community who are active around that issue have been very hungry to have a candidate and an assembly member who supports their position. We didn’t have that with Roger Green, and we’re happy to see him go, and we’re happy that we have a candidate who is unequivocal in his position on the project. And that’s the problem with Hakeem. This project has been around for 28 months now and no one know’s where he stands and all the meetings we’ve had he came to one and hadn’t said a word. Its a long enough period of time to come to a position, and that doesn’t mean he has to support or oppose it but he has to have a real position and to say tehre can’t be a principled compromise, those are empty words, unless he says what it means. Until he says that, its a meaningless slogan.”