Just came back from a nicely-run Town Hall forum by a local progressive radio station, KOPT.
Eugene's supposedly "progressive" and "sustainable" Mayor Kitty Piercy, boldy advocated a plan to spend better than $40 million to displace an affordable arts, non-profit & commercial district, that serves thousands of people a week, with an upscale mall.
However, she hid her intentions, and the actual legislation she has backed, by stealing rhetoric from the grassroots community development phrasebook. When pressed for time, she even amusingly threw in a "neighborhood ice cream parlor" to justify her supposed change-of-mind regarding a public park in the project.
She even ended the event on an outright lie: that the $40 million will not raise taxes. The City has provided her a study showing that it will. And it's common sense: where on earth is that $40 million, to subsidize the developer's bottom line, suppose to come from? Of course it raises taxes, both directly and indirectly.
It's pretty amusing that the "yes" blog on measure 20-134 is written by a former producer of "Star Trek". Perhaps he believes the $40 million will just materialize out of thin air? Certainly, Star Trek was always the epitome of the Sterile Utopian vision ... these are the kinds of "visionaries" who want to mold the concrete-and-glass prison-cities of the future.
However the mayor, and her courtier Greg McLauchlan, didn't mention the Urban Renewal disasters ... they mentioned those in the 60's & 70's of course, because these are safely distant. They claimed that Urban Renewal has "changed" ... just like US Foreign Policy has "changed" ... well, as someone who's neighborhood is about to be torn down with public money, cash that is sorely needed elsewhere, I can say categorically that Urban Renewal has not changed significantly.
Painfully, these two newspoke their way through their presentations. They painted a joyful utopian picture, using lovely things they have actually voted against: parks, historic buildings, community services, affordable housing, local businesses ... exactly like all propaganda, they use community as rhetoric, when they are hell-bent on destroying it, for the profit of their powerful friends. They've done it before, they'll do it again ...
... don't be fooled. The more money we give the City, the more damage they'll do, the more local businesses they'll destroy, the more historic buildings they will destroy, and the more community services they will drain of money. They have already passed ordinances to that effect.
Vote No on Measure 20-134. Stop City Hall.