I have to believe that our city officials were energized and empowered by the knowledge that there were 300 people in seven congregations who cared enough about affordable housing to give up a Sunday afternoon to fight for it. Surely that level of support helped them complete the negotiations so successfully.
I still have two questions. Will the city adopt the "open and transparent development process" that VIA has asked for so that we can avoid a recurrence of what happened at Westlake? I am confident that VIA will continue to hold their feet to the fire.
My second question is this: Why did a well-advertised meeting that was deemed important enough for the mayor, the new director of the Community and Economic Development Office, five city councilors, the city attorney and 300 citizens to attend fail to warrant any coverage in The Burlington Free Press?
Friday, March 14, 2008
WESTLAKE DECISION CONTINUES TO HAUNT CITY HALL
Today, the Free Press has an editorial chastising the city for not pushing the developer of the Westlake property at Cherry and Battery to build affordable housing. Though not mentioned in the editorial, Vermont Interfaith Action was instrumental in making this travesty public. It took nearly a month for the Free Press to cover this story! As Sue Brooks, one of VIA's founding leaders, wrote in a My Turn column on Thursday -- about the VIA action with the mayor, city and CEDO officials on 10 Febuary (!)