uses BUILD to create an appearance of a community divided along
race lines, and also to provoke divisions within the community.
see Section 4.4 of The
New York Times and Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards
BUILD members attend all hearings and use inflammatory
BUILD members have been attending all the hearings to date (2
city council EDC hearings and 2 MTA hearings) and community
board meetings. They exploit unemployment statistics and use
inflammatory language to create an illusion of strong division
along racial lines in the community. They cheer Forest City
Ratner (FCR) loudly in all meetings, and often shout down the
opponents to the project, leaving the councilmembers with the
impression that there is a racial divide with all blacks supporting
the project and all whties opposing it.
Nobody knew that BUILD was being paid to do this.
Here is an example of a statement given by James Caldwell, President
of BUILD, during the May 26, 2005 City Council EDC Hearing (excerpted
from the hearing
MR. CALDWELL: My name is James Caldwell. I'm
the president of BUILD, Brooklyn, Brooklyn United Innovative
Local Development. I'm also the president for the 77th Precinct,
Community Youth Council, and have been for the past seven years.
As president of BUILD, I've been there for approximately 16
First thing I want to say, I want to give all thanks to my Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ, for giving us this opportunity to be
here, because truly without him we would not be here.
I also want to thank Forest City Ratner for working with our
community. Because too often in our community, people say that
we were not good enough to negotiate when others have always
been negotiating for us.
I also want to say when I was 19 years old, that my mother had
lived in this community of Prospect Heights for over 50 years,
and when I was 18 years old, back then you could go to college
I couldn't go to college for free in my community because I
had to support my mother and my sisters. I joined the military,
which I was proudly (sic) to do, because my father, my brother
and everybody in my family have served in the military. We have
served our country.
I had to go in the military because I had to support my family.
Let me tell you something: nothing has changed. It's the same
thing that goes on in our community right now. Fifty-five percent
of the blacks in our community, 55 percent, 55 percent are black
males in our community, are unemployed. Are unemployed.
CHAIRPERSON SANDERS: You were saying, sir?
MR. CALDWELL: Fifty-five percent of blacks
in our community -- I'm not even looking at the housing complex
where it's over 70 percent, but in the community where I live,
the community of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, our peoples
Every time you see two black males walking down the street,
one of them don't have a job. And that could very well be anybody
in this room that's black. And I'm not ashamed to sit here and
say that we are happy to be at the table to negotiate for our
community for jobs, because we need jobs in our community. But
not only are we negotiating for jobs, we negotiate for opportunities,
we're negotiating for concession stands with the arena, we are
also negotiating, more importantly, that we started having the
attitude like Harriet Tubman. So we could bring people to the
comfort level like she did. If she could do it with having a
sleeping disorder, certainly those that who don't have a sleeping
disorder certainly can do it for our folks, especially our elected
official, the one that we put in the office, the one that we
worked hard for.
And when I hear people say that, well, they're coming in, Forest
City Ratner is coming in, and he's doing this, he's doing that
-- you know, you all bring these experts to the table, people
that are making a hundred thousand dollars a year that don't
live in our community [NOTE: James Caldwell earns $125,000
a year, paid for by Forest City Ratner], you know,
got a place to go to, whereas we have people in our community
that are struggling. And Council Member James, you know they
are struggling. You know how hard I worked on your campaign,
with a triple bypass, a bad corticipet and pneumonia, going
door-to-door, and you know what the people said in our community.
So to come here and say that Forest City Ratner is using us
is totally ridiculous. You know, for you all to say that, how
tall a building it's going to be, let me tell you something,
people in our community, they don't care how tall no building,
they need a job. They need to feed their family. And then you
talk about the traffic. Let me tell you what the running joke
is in the community, because we don't have the daily tabloids,
the Brooklyn paper and this and that floating through our community,
we do our own little newsletter to get word out, like they used
to do in Africa about beating the drums and just letting people
know what is going on.
But let me just get one thing straight. The running joke in
our community is this: Traffic. First of all, I'd like to get
me a job so I can buy me a car so I can sit in the traffic.
[NOTE: James Caldwell earns $125,000 a year, paid for
by Forest City Ratner, and he drives a brand new Cadillac car.]
So, let's get rid of this thing -- and then when you talking
about the nerve of you all when you did your RFP, for the little
$10 million that you appropriated to deal with the unemployment
in our community, you write the RFP in such a way that people
like us can't even participate because you want to go back to
the same old traditional way, that's why unemployment is still
high in our community because you all don't want to break the
cycle. You want to send it to your friends, your family and
the ones that are in the click. Well, I'm telling you, it's
time to change that, and the change should come through you.
They had term limits, to bring faces in, to make changes in
our community. And especially, I'm not ashamed to say it, especially
in the black community, and Forest City Ratner is doing that,
and then you're going to come out here and complain because
he's trying to help our people. Yes, he's like an
angel sent from God.