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Opinion: Dissolve the EDC and empower the people on urban development

Unfortunately for the 99 percent, this is not just a city “gone rogue”, but by design and courtesy of a city agency known as the Economic Development Corporation. This group of unelected and unaccountable men and women, most of whom are “prominent in the financial, commercial, industrial, [or] professional…community of the City of New York” as mandated by the EDC, act as kingmakers to decide which industries, neighborhoods and projects should stand or fall.  Ostensibly created to drive and shape New York’s economic growth, the EDC ironically siphons off money from the budget of the city’s Small Business Services, and then either stands idly by as our mom-and-pop shops fall like dominoes, or precipitates changes that ultimately destroy them, as they did to businesses in the Garment District in favor of the tech sector.

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This op-ed was written by Emily Sharpe, lawyer and leader of Stop Sunnyside Yards, a grassroots group organizing around opposition to development over Sunnyside Yards.