One of the many smoke screen issues that surfaced during the vetting process was around how the newcomers to the neighborhood are the ones that have been pushing the economic development notion over having another park next to the old bridge....and in the process are the ones that are pushing out long time residents in their quest to invest in the neighborhood. Well, the bucket that tried holding that argument was full of holes. The brewery project is about private investment in a long neglected waste land with a serious touch of blight. No one is being displaced because of this project or to put it another way, the brewery is not the root cause of some major gentrification trend!
My good friend and neighbor, Tony C, spoke eloquently before our esteemed city council about being a newcomer to the neighborhood. One comment that he made was classic: "we newcomers come in peace". Well said! Tony and his wife Sonya moved into the neighborhood 2 years ago and quickly became involved in neighborhood/community building activities. They joined the neighborhood association, they participate in the tutoring and mentoring program for the neighborhood elementary school, they also started a garden club for the after school program at the Ella Austin Community Center called the Germinators, and they are core members of the community garden group. Tony is a member of the board of directors for the neighborhood association so he's learning the ropes of community leadership. These folks are compassionate doers that believe in building community.
|Newcomer Tony and all around good guy!|