One of the points Mr. Popper makes is the organizing efforts made by community groups and neighborhoods however, these efforts are seldom covered by established media. In part this is due to a belief that only those with titles and advanced education can make real contributions or are worthy of true coverage. Given the fact that media coverage can advance the voice of those lease valued without such level of coverage society can deny the real consequences of poverty. Racism and increasing poverty is creating the enormous gap that exists between the haves and have nots has become the norm. It is even questionable now if there will be a time in the near future where enough good paying jobs will be available for most workers. I hope the City paper will do an indepth analysis of the Governor's budget which will disclose that most of the benefits will be again for the wealthiest. It proposes to remove the bank tax. 1/2 of the children live in poverty, growing of low wage jobs by 223,00 compared to the lose of 72,000 middle wage jobs, for the wealthy- 750 m inheritance tax break,350m. new tax breaks for Wall St. All of this points to the importance of strong activist oriented organizing joining both unions and those most affected in neighborhoods, communities etc. So let's do it!!
The City's master plan was recently presented to the public in a series of planned meetings both downtown and in several neighborhoods. While there were many details in that plan ,one of the overall statement made in the Plan was the importance of not only addressing needs of persons leaving downtown but that Downtown is for everyone and should symbolize that reality. Part of this plan added the feedback obtained from earlier residents to include some retail and a grocery store. The grocery store planned for the former location of Craig Automotive near the Little theater will appeal to some who live in that area of the City but once again the City offering tax breaks has failed to pursue the possibility of a grocery store that would be for all the City as identified in the goals of the Plan. In the info given by Mr. Kellog the owner of the new store focused on the service it would provide to the areas primarily in its immediate location. While this does not mean that only residents living in that area can use the store , it is clear that the location is designed once again to attract those of higher means. Is this consistent with the idea of the Master Plan being for all the people? Once again the City has limited vision. The more relevant vision for a grocery store could have been to consider how to bring people across class lines both living downtown and in the City's neighborhoods together to be creative and look at a co-operative grocery model. This would have addressed one of the City's most serious problems namely, the huge gap between the have and have nots. Such a model would require people from locations across the City to come together to develop a community grocery store featuring local produce and other products with an outcome that assures not only green sustainability but enhancing greater social connections across lines that are often divided. Tax subsidies and supportive funding could actually go to address the greater good. What a novel idea!
The Greens have been activists fighting for a wide variety of environmental issues including devastating climate change , fracking and corporate contributions including to gas and oil companies. The Green Party has a long history of activism prior to directing efforts towards obtaining political party status. To imply that they are somehow not against climate change is absurd. One thing for sure is that they rejected was the move by the Sierra Club to contribute $26m supporting shale based gas fracking. Greens have a fundamental principle NO CORPORATE MONIES. That is where the rubber hits the road ,as they say. Bonnie Cannan
While it is true that students at the age that most of the City School district students are who wait for the buses now relocated on Main St. near Clint can be very active, vocal and excited that should not cover up the role the Transit Authority has played in decision=making with little thought to the City at large or to its realities. Perhaps this is because the Commissioners who represent the Authority largely come from suburban and outlying areas. The current decision to move the bus stop from the shelter at the Liberty Pole area to Main and Clinton raises serious questions of judgement. The area near the liberty pole is a bigger space than the one on Main which of course means that the large number of students who wait for buses at the previous site would cause more crowding when moved to the sidewalks on Main. It;s a mere visual check. Both the Transit Authority , the City and the School Superintendent claim the other made the decision to move the stop. Of course this points to another problem that of the lack of real communication among the players. This type of distant involvement by the RGRTA is common but not excusable. The Authority rarely asks adult bus riders who depend on the bus for real feedback and solutions to some of the related problems. The so called town hall meetings the Authority holds do not provide an organized way for the collective action that would be needed by those relying on the bus to have. Instead, the town hall meetings are there to be used to satisfy speech but not to organize for needed changes. Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects related to the change in bus stops is the images of primarily black students being contained by police on horses who from my observation were noisy yes excited and lively yes but not violent. Those that set this change in motion have not been the focus as they should be. I contacted WXXI when the earlier reporting was done and presented the view that I am now writing about but the reports that followed by the media continued to omit any further evaluation or accountability. Bonnie Cannan
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