Thursday, July 17, 2014

Drawing a Line

So much has happened in the last many months that show the consistent attack of the middle-of-the-road and Left-ish leaning of the U.S. populace.  Every single issue has a full attack mode slash from the Righties out there.  But, and this amazes me somewhat, the constant barrage from the Right has moments that make me cheer wildly.  Exposing stupidity and seeing the lies about the economy, science, education, immigration and so forth tumbled down is heartening at a time when I feel the attacks ever more personally.  In attending a Gun Violence conference recently it was clear that lobbying efforts can be overcome by ardent and consistent work on the part of those who can counter the NRA nonsense enough times but that the opposition is well positioned with money, now called free speech (Citizens United, thanks a bunch SCOTUS), is going to make this a long hard battle ground.  Action on a local level is what is needed and that is going to take a long time... even when the matter can be put to any sort of vote.

Along comes an issue that is very local but with large implications.  Our local government, the city council of Vancouver, has recently voted to allow a WalMart to go ahead with development of a store very near us.  I am concerned with everything from downward pressure on property values to job losses by local businesses and general degrading and the trash accumulation in the area now that the council has voted.  Because of the way that WalMart scams the system by creating employees on food stamps (by not paying a living wage), using corrosive scheduling so there are fewer full time employees and demanding tax concessions from the governing bodies where they locate stores while offering cheap off shore products it is impossible to feel that they will be good neighbors.  

Here's the thing of it though.  We don't have a vote in the matter.  We live a few blocks outside of the city.  We are in an area that will one soon probably be in the city but because it is not yet we do not have a real voice in this process.  

It is all about where a line was drawn and it's too late, probably, to effect the outcome.  We are late comers to the neighborhood so we were not "in the know" about the location of this WalMart nor its march toward completion but that's where activism, win or lose, comes in.  I do vote and I can attend future city council meetings.    

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