It’s easy if you try … and the world will be as one
Not enough homeless people are showing up to testify at Common Council meetings.
Some people are “under-served” and “under-represented.”
Who knew? And, more to the point, how do “they” know who is under-served and who is over-served? (Take a number.)
The City of Madison is who knew. City planners rounded up 12 “resident panels” to reach out to African-Americans, Hmong, Ho-Chunk, transgender, Latino, elderly, young, homeless, and the “formerly incarcerated” (aka: ex-cons).
Identity politics rules!
All this reaching out is in service to the Emerald City’s comprehensive master plan in a process dubbed “Imagine Madison.” Planners gotta plan.
The Imagine Madison panels were city-funded (read: “taxpayer-funded”), The Capital Times reports. “But organized and facilitated by community organizations.” One of which was Madison Urban Ministry, a member of the Derail the Jail coalition. None of which were the Republican party or the Kiwanis. Perhaps they are not community organizations.
To get these favored identity groups to grace the planning panels, the City of Madison (read: “taxpayers”) provided child care, bus tickets, and travel stipends.
City planners proactively reached out to the racially and ethnically diverse through “resident” panels that attracted “historically under-represented” 263 participants. Those easily out-numbered the 55 “community” participants. On-line comments numbered another 1,291. The big reach out produced “Action Ideas” such as:
Creating safe and affirming spaces that are social outlets for people of color and under-represented community members. Provide spaces for racially and ethnically diverse interests, events, family gatherings, traditions, and exhibits. Preserve historic and special places that reflect our racially and ethnically diverse cultures and histories. Provide community spaces that bring people of diverse backgrounds together and help foster a sense of belonging and inclusion. Support small businesses … especially businesses owned by people of color and under-represented groups.
Public safety? Not a strategy, apparently
The results of the Imagine Madison planning process can be summarized in one word: MORE! More food pantries, more buses, cheaper housing, “culturally appropriate childcare,” save the lakes.
Anything missing? How about public safety? The only option offered by the City Planning Department was “build better relationships between police officers and the diverse communities they serve.” Among 73 strategies offered, just that one.
You want to create safe and affirming spaces that are social outlets for racially diverse and under-represented (who says?)? Take the gang bangers, dope dealers, and car jackers off the street. That lets the law-abiding people back onto the street so that they can quit being under-represented. So they can hear the teacher in school with disruption. So that they can quit being victims.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: City planners did not offer Hold Down City Spending as a strategy. Madison taxpayers may be the ones who are under-served.