Marty Markowitz: Still a fat F***

George W. Bush is not the only President to fire those who don’t rubber-stamp his policies. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz – who calls himself a Democrat – is cut from the same cloth. This week it was revealed that an unusually high number of Community Board members – the hard-working volunteer citizens who, as we learned from a decade living in Brooklyn, are a resident’s main point of contact in dealing with Borough bureaucracy – would not be reappointed to their posts. To quote from Wednesday’s New York Times,

Though community board members’ terms are usually renewed routinely, Mr. Markowitz on Monday replaced at least five longtime members who had sought reappointment to Community Board 6, which covers the brownstone neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens.

The five members had one thing in common: they voted yes last year on a resolution denouncing Atlantic Yards, the $4 billion development project that Mr. Markowitz has spent three years and much of his political capital extolling.

The sad thing is, this comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the story these last three years. The Atlantic Yards development has been forced on Brooklynites using exactly the same tactics as the Bush Administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq. You start off by telling the people what they want to hear, and if they raise questions or objections or, God forbid, use either the First Amendment or their right to legal recourse, then you either lie to them (in Atlantic Yards’ case, with false promises of jobs and open space, and complete denial of environmental and community damage), patronize them (“We know better than you”), threaten them (with Eniment Domain), buy their support (hello Build), publish your own propaganda (hello the Brooklyn Standard), rush the process through anyway (Forest City Ratner started knocking down buildings before receiving proper clearance), and just generally railroad them into submission (all the above and more). And if that still doesn’t shut them up, then given the opportunity, you fire them.

Celia Cacace, who has been on the board since the early 1980s — long before Mr. Markowitz was elected — said that he took her aside at a community event a few months ago to criticize her and her colleagues.

“He said, ‘I’m going to get rid of everybody on the board that voted for this,’ [the resolution denouncing Atlantic Yards]” according to Ms. Cacace, 71, whose term expires next year. “He says, ‘Remember, you are my appointee.’ Every time I tried to say something he totally lambasted me.”

The view of the future Atlantic Yards from Carlton Avenue and Bergen Street. Photographs by Eric McNatt; Illustration by Jason Lee. Photo and Caption from The Battle for The Soul of Brooklyn, NY magazine, Aug 14

Mr.Markowitz’ biography at the Brooklyn Borough President’s web site, declares that,

His goal is to ensure that all Brooklynites have the opportunity to share in the historic renaissance sweeping across the borough — and if he puts a smile on your face while he’s at it, even better!

Mr Markowitz, go jump in the Gowanus Canal. That will put a smile on everyone’s face, I assure you.

Previously at iJamming!
Brooklyn Beats: A Media Narrative on Gentrification, Growth, Class, Race, Whole Foods and Kiddy Punk
Miss Brooklyn
A Brooklyn Bridge Too Far?

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October 2021