Thursday, May 21, 2015

Has Nancy Barakat Vaughan United Greensboro?

On Wednesday John Robert Kernodle III posted the following to his Facebook page concerning Tuesday night's zoning change by Greensboro City Council to allow expansion of commercial development on West Friendly Avenue:

"Had a majority, or even the leadership, of the Friendly Coalition (defeated in their bid to prevent development at the corner of Hobbes and Friendly by a 7-2 vote of city council last night) shown ANY solidarity with the other beleaguered neighborhoods of Greensboro, I very well would have been supportive of their efforts to limit development in their neighborhood.

But I have not seen all that many members of the Friendly Coalition standing up for their less economically well off neighbors and neighborhoods. I've not seen them come out for Glenwood, or Phillips Ave., or the Landfill. They took no steps to explain how their fight was interconnected to other struggles against undemocratic practices in zoning.

But they did lawyer up.

No, the Friendly Coalition did nothing to indicate they even conceived of Greensboro outside of their neighborhood. And that's fine, nothing said they had to. But it's one thing for a neighborhood to be upset about zoning, it's another entirely to bring the weight of unhappy voices from all over town into a big critical-of-the-way-we-do-development tent. The Friendly Coalition missed an opportunity, failed to show solidarity to neighbors in far worse shape than any member of the coalition, and they failed in their goal. It didn't have to be this way - but it should be a salient lesson to other affluent neighborhoods that may come under zoning scrutiny: if you don't turn out for poor Greensboro, for homeless Greensboro, for black and brown Greensboro - don't expect the people to turn out for your cause."

I replied:

 "So very true. I wrote extensively against the Trader Joes rezoning effort in an effort to help get support from the Friendly Coalition but saw little if any support for matters east Greensboro from them. So this time 'round I just sat it out. My blog has 30,000 readers monthly, it's not the News & Record or any of the other MSM outlets in terms of influence but it was 30,000 readers they didn't get to influence.

They should learn to be smarter.

So now is your turn West Greensboro. You can stand with the rest of Greensboro or continue to get shot down every time an issue comes up that developers and City Council are trying to force down your throats. That is, after all, exactly what Greensboro's leaders were counting on all along. For you see, NIMBYs always lose without support well beyond their own borders. And even with all your money you've already proven you can't win without us.

After all, the cost of little bit improvements in east Greensboro pales in comparison to the loss you just took in resale values and standard of living losses you face now. So the question must be asked, has Nancy Barakat Vaughan and the Greensboro City Council united Greensboro against Greensboro's status-quo or are west Greensboro residents still a bunch of suckers playing partisan politics?