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Liberal Activists Didn’t Kill the Amazon Deal. Robert Moses Did.

February 19, 2019

Marc J. Dunkelman : politico – excerpt

The most lasting legacy of New York’s power broker is that it’s now impossible to build anything in the city.

Just like with Amazon’s recent proposal to build a new corporate campus in Queens, local residents opposed Robert Moses’ plans to construct the Cross-Bronx Expressway through the working-class neighborhood of East Tremont in the early 1950s. Determined to save scores of residential buildings by forcing Moses, then New York’s most powerful public figure, to alter the route, members of the East Tremont Neighborhood Association lined up a raft of political support.

As Robert Caro tells the story, led by a local “housewife” named Lillian Edelstein, activists extracted a promise from the soon-to-be-mayor, Robert F. Wagner, that he would “vote against any resolution” allowing Moses to acquire private property for the roadway. As Caro explains in The Power Broker, up until the night Moses rolled them, Edelstein and her neighbors believed they were going to win. Not long thereafter, Moses’ wrecking crew plowed through.

More than a half-century later, that narrative has been turned on its head. As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”… (more)

Who is missing the irony in the state power grabs against both local and federal jurisdiction? How wise is it for the states to take on both sides from the middle position?

Partisan politics aside, this is a class war that is taking a strange twist as local politicians and leaders fight to retain their authority from the states that are fighting to retain their powers from the Federal Government.

The Top Down power model is crumbling and the electorate is fighting back. The citizens have the most to lose, but, there is some question as to whether or not the states can fight both sides at one time and win?

Election 2020 will decide who stays and who goes. The 2018 election was just a warmup.

Now is the time for politicians to shut up and listen to what the public wants instead of telling them what they are going to get.

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