Save the Downtown Food Carts! Letter to Mayor Wheeler and the Portland Commissioners
A desolate parking lot became vibrant food carts two decades ago! Building a 35-story 5-star hotel is an out-of-scale monstrosity that will disable downtown for years. Elected leaders are responsible to house and feed. Trump should resign gracefully like Nixon. City councils should resist Trump's cutting everything but the military! FDR built 170K public buildings, social security, and minimum wage? Have we fallen asleep? Are we being entertained to death?
Dear Mayor Wheeler and Portland Commissioners,
A desolate parking lot became vibrant food carts two decades ago!
Building a 35-story 5-star hotel is an out-of-scale monstrosity that will disable downtown for years. Similarly, building a baseball stadium on the Fremont bridge would turn driving and traffic into a nightmare. This would lead to epic traffic jams and people cursing baseball.
On the positive side, Portland could lead in resisting the Trump attacks on the poor, seniors, the disabled, children and students. The funds should be returned to HUD, Meals-on-Wheels, WIC, The Legal Corporation, Pell Grants, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and the Departments of Education and the EPA. The Great Unraveling provokes the Great Refusal. Trump has turned the stomachs of the nation in calling Mexicans "rapists and murderers" and then calling all nations "cheaters." Our challenge is to build social democracy and to reverse exploding inequality, plutocracy and the security state replacing the constitutional state.
The old post-office could become a robust village of SRO housing, not a "sports facility."
Vancouver B.C. has 26 community centers that make all the difference. Working and non-working persons can feel accepted in the modern project. Vancouver's Refugee Welcoming Center, a 3-building complex, is another life-giving example.
We can be post-materialist, living with new respectful values and priorities, unhooked from nonstop consumerism and the "one-dimensional culture." Sociologist Herbert Marcuse described one-dimensional society as a culture without criticism. Degrowth and post-growth are slogans of an increasingly popular ecological economics. The hegemony of growth orientation and the "imperial lifestyle" of Northern elites are replaced by a withdrawal from growth and a commitment to the right of nature. A 35-story luxury hotel would be a rejection of ecological consciousness and mockery of all the gains in enlightenment and anti-corporate domination.
The "paywall model" is being replaced by the "open access model." Academia.edu with 20 million papers could be our publisher for our translations, essays and research projects. This is happiness on many levels. As a "researcher," your world in the "open access model" expands. You learn which of your works was read in Kenya, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US! Poorer countries cannot afford technical journals.
Soon, we will have to put on our earplugs to block the deafening noise of your "progress," discontinued models and neoliberal myths! Why not let the citizens vote on keeping the downtown carts and turning the old post office into an SRO village? Public spirit happens when citizens feel included and valued and not merely helpless spectators of an elite corporate democracy!
I include links to 10 papers that I uploaded to academia.edu. These are super-exciting articles, studies, manifestos, and memorandums that deserve many English-speaking readers. The poor need a strong state and we all need immigrants lest we drown in chicken nuggets and the concentrated media of six mega-corporations!
Twenty years ago sociologist Colin Crouch wrote the bestseller "Post-Democracy. The Surprising Survival of Neoliberalism." Neoliberalism is an ideology and indoctrination that becomes an unquestioned natural law (see Rainer Mausfeld) based on myths (self-healing market, efficient financial markets, finance fuels the real economy, CEOs are job-creators and workers are cost-factors). On June 5, 2019, he published a great article "The Superrich Endanger Democracy." I hope you will read this article. Are people in such a rush to become superrich that they don't have time or energy to hear any criticism?
I'd like to discuss vision and the left and how life becomes empty without social justice. These are vital subjects in a time that resists system and structural criticism and alternatives. Are Jesus' challenges to sit and count the cost and pay one-hour workers the same as those who work all day ignored? How can the future be open and dynamic and not closed and static? How is life without change and learning different from radical solipsism, plant-like, and reaction-only existence?
Hearts of stone can become hearts of flesh! The media can focus on the Timbers and the Raptors and miss the danger of authoritarian populism. The Embarrassment in Chief is attacking the poor, seniors, the handicapped, children, and students. Hitler created an imaginary threat saying repeatedly "International Jewry was exterminating Germany." So Trump called Germany "Russia's puppet" and then denounced all nations as cheaters!
Elected leaders are responsible to house and feed. Trump should resign gracefully as Nixon resigned. States and city councils should resist Trump's cutting everything but the military!
FDR built 170K public buildings, libraries, bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge, the TVA, social security, unemployment insurance and minimum wage? Have we fallen asleep? Are we being entertained to death? Can the state steal away and only post warnings to the homeless?.
Thanks for your time and for letting me rant. God changed his mind in not executing Isaac. Hopefully, you will save the downtown carts and change your mind on this splash project!
contribute to this article
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion