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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, April 23, 2010

    NYC focus: ACORN betrays families to Rich Developers

    (Photo from Queens Crap)

    Bertha Lewis of ACORN is a nasty, corrupt piece of work.

    Just because Republicans lie about ACORN doesn't mean everything ACORN does is okay. Locally, ACORN's Bertha Lewis is solidly in the pocket of developers and has recently shown her nasty side but gleefully cheering on the eviction of a family from their homes thanks to eminent domain abuse. This is a letter Bertha Lewis sent out (I got it the day she sent it but only got around to posting it today):

    > From: Bertha Lewis
    > Date: Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 8:04 PM
    > Subject: Daniel Goldstein and the 7 year itch
    > To:

    > Finally, the itch that was Daniel Goldstein has been scratched and scratched out. After almost seven years of flawed strategies, smear campaigns, stupid tactics, disingenuous rhetoric and total disregard for people who have lived in the downtown Brooklyn community for years before he even thought about coming here; finally he got what he really wanted. A Deal. Not for the community he claimed to love so much, but for the only beneficiary of his community of one, himself, Double Dealing Danny Goldstein. How utterly despicable for him to be in the newspaper today whining that he did not have enough time to move, and had nowhere to go because he was being stiffed by the State and Forest City Ratner, when low and behold, all the time, he was negotiating, not for the community , but for himself. Well good riddance and don’t let the door hit ya’. Low and moderate income people have had to wait years for housing while he obstructed the Atlantic Yards Project that could have been well over half done by now. He never had to worry about housing so he did’nt care how long other people had to wait. Behold, the Gentrifier. He has slandered and denigrated not only me but my organization and my members relentlessly. What benefit has he delivered to the community? None except for his own pocket. Well, the housing at Atlantic Yards will be built, and the day after he moves out, which I hope will be sooner rather than later, the building that he squatted in these past years should be razed to ground immediately, and salt poured into the soil, so that never again can the likes of one of the biggest shakedown artists in Brooklyn return. We will still be here, we will still be fighting for the all the people that Danny spurned and used for his own enrichment. We hope that now everyone in Brooklyn and New York can see him for what he really is and can see what his actions cost Brooklyn. I hope whatever he settled for was worth the pain and misery he caused to so many people who just wanted a decent place to live in Brooklyn and who just wanted a decent job and a place for their family. Now that the flim flam man is gone, they can finally see it on the horizon.
    > --
    > Bertha Lewis
    > ACORN
    > 2-4 Nevins Street
    > Brooklyn, New York 11217
    > 718 246 7900
    > 718 246 7939 fax
    > 718 219 8266 cell
    > blewis@acornmail.net

    What...a...bitch! Use of eminent domain to throw families (including a small child) out of their home so a rich, corrupt developer can make money at taxpayer expense doesn't really seem in the spirit of ACORN. Remember, Bruce Ratner has come right out and said he has no plans to build any affordable housing any time soon. There are no guarantees he every will build it or where he will build it if he does. Eminent domain and taxpayer money has gone to serve the greed of Bruce Ratner and Bertha Lewis LOVES it. Of course she has taken money from Ratner in the past, so I guess she is just giving Ratner his money's worth.

    I certainly hope Bertha Lewis is not typical of ACORN nationally.

    The New York Restorations blog hits the nail on the head regarding Bertha Lewis:

    So, wait. ACORN was bailed out by the Ratner group, and now she’s claiming that these new buildings will provide housing to New York’s poor and low-income families? Are you kidding me? How “affordable” will these new apartments be? (I’m actually sorta not snarking here – I’m honestly curious what “affordable” really means to these folk.)

    How is this not amongst the most despicable of conflict of interests? Regardless of how much low-income housing the Atlantic Yards provides, this just smacks of croneyism and nasty back-scratching.

    Look, I’ve no real problems with ACORN. They were exonerated of wrong-doing, whatever. But what on God’s Green Earth is this woman doing, gloating over the creation of a stadium and condos on a piece of public property offered to Ratner at below-market-value? My head is exploding right now.

    ACORN is betraying its honorable roots in this. Far from being the extremist left wing organization Republicans try to portray it as, ACORN seems to have become just another bought-and-sold front group for developers, at least in this part of the country.


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