Envirowimps: L.A.'s Big Green Groups Get Comfy-- Activists leave the street-fighting to the little guys
By Patrick Range McDonald, Published on July 01, 2009
"Rex Frankel, a widely respected independent voice in L.A.’s environmental movement and director of the think tank ConnectingCalifornia.org..."
A message from the Editor of Rare Earth News:
Thank you, Patrick.
We non-corporate funded environmentalists are very grateful for your story.
Urban Growth is all about money: money for politicians’s campaign funds, jobs for construction workers, and windfall profits for land owners. But it also means a fake boost in tax dollars that is erased by all of the services needed by the residents of that growth.
Local elected officials for years bought the builders’ baloney that mega development was the solution to local government’s budget woes. It’s not so. This faulty and unscientific belief was repeated unquestioned for years by the mainstream press. It’s been up to us, the independent activists and the independent press, to show that the growth emperor was not only naked, but he was drunk and blowing all of our money.
A landmark study debunking the claims that development equals prosperity is at this link:
On average, the study found that for every $1 that residential development brings into the government, the government then has to shell out $1.16 to service that development.
Basically, if development was the salvation to
Growth never pays for itself. If it did, we would have the lowest taxes in the country, not the highest.
An underlying theme in Patrick Range McDonald’s article was that by working-with developers and polluters, some enviro groups think they can make a difference. Usually, they get worked-over, and the public gets the bill.
We call it greenwashing because the developer still gets a massive project and we still get the traffic jams, but we also get feel-good billboards telling us that we wrecked our neighborhood in a green way. It’s like telling us that cancer is good for us because it’s “growth”.
Growth is not always good, no matter what urban planning theorists tell us.
The biggest problem with smart growth is that in
Smart growth works elsewhere, but only when all the local governments agree to it.
(Read more here:
Coupled with these UGB’s in most places that have them are local land trusts and tax-dollar funded park purchase agencies that buy up the greenbelts that the voters put off-limits to development.
This means that growth, if it must occur at all, is forced to stay in our downtowns.
Even some of
I consider Bill Rosendahl, our Westside councilman, a good friend. Compared to the openly hostile relationship we had with his predecessors Cindy Miscikowski, Ruth Galanter and Pat Russell, Bill is open, friendly, and not bought-off.
The rubber is about to hit the road with two mega projects in Bill’s 11th district which are coming to the planning commission soon: the Howard Hughes Center on July 23rd and Playa Vista phase 2 later this summer or fall. Do we need another 3000 luxury condos? Do we need to let our yards turn brown so these towers can go up?
Are the politicians going to fall for the usual developer B.S. again or will they really make