Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Report from City Council Hearing

First, a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who reached out, sent letters, came to the hearing, spoke publicly, made your voices heard. It is amazing to feel part of a community that seeks to support the good and the just and the very best in communities.

About 20 people provided testimony at Council today, and NOT ONE of them spoke in support of the actual rezoning of the sites. Recurring themes included:
  • The need and desire for a housing strategy that will address both short term emergencies and a long-term strategy and ensure equitable access to transit, community services, and economic opportunities;
  • The need for public park spaces equivalent to (or greater than) the existing as a common ground and communal gathering place;
  • The need for an inclusive and comprehensive planning process that takes the deliberate time needed to develop such a vision.
It is clear that there is a true need for a collective and collaborative vision for these important gateway properties in East Liberty, one which supports affordable and market rate housing, neighborhood serving retail development that enhances a vision of community entrepreneurship, and public parks that serve as our collective living rooms and front porches.

After the hearing, we were pleased and surprised to read a public statement from the Mayor's Office that the City Requires Enright Park to Remain Public. This is an enormous step forward. We are cautiously optimistic that there can be a collaborative solution, but we are holding our breath a bit to see the proposed process for moving forward.

East Liberty is in the midst of a dramatic reinvention - we only have the blink of an eye to catch the reigns. Many feel that is is already too late, but others who call this community home hope that it is not too late to ensure equitable development and invest in our local talents and creativity to establish a vision for the future.

Please continue to make our voices heard by reaching out to members of Council and the Mayor's Office to let them know that we will be heard, and that we will be part of the future of this community. 

We will be ramping up further in the next few weeks with our messages and coordination. We are still all volunteer, so if you are interested in helping to spread the word and participate, please let us know. You can reach us at info@enrightpark.org.

We are also opening a press room for communications. You will be able to find press releases and media alerts about planning and development activities in East Liberty and throughout the East End here. Please stay tuned and stay informed.

And thank you. Thank you for caring about this community, and for the fate of your neighbors. If the past six months has taught us anything, it is that our community will always sustain us.


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