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Tip of the Iceberg: Forest City Ratner Funds BUILD with $5 Million.
Ratner 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 divisive language:
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 transcript):

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 months.

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 for free.

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 are unemployed.

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.

Thank you.



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