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A letter to the Phoenix City Council

Dear Councilman Claude Mattox:

Okay, so this article appears in today’s Arizona Republic: the City of Phoenix is about to spend $6  million to buy a vacant motel so the property can be handed over to Arizona State University to expand ASU President Michael Crow’s overweening plans to expand his empire.

Let’s see if a beleaguered taxpayer can get this straight:

The city of Phoenix is broke. It’s going to close our neighborhood library, which is mobbed every moment it’s open, and lay off cops and firefighters. It has abandoned the lightrail project up the conduit of blight that is 19th Avenue after having ripped out an entire row of homes in our neighborhood and covered the scars with hideous gray gravel. Then to add insult to injury it’s going to sock us with a regressive tax on food.

But it still has $6 million to stroke Michael Crow’s ego?????

Mr. Mattox, really. What on earth is the city thinking? ASU is out of cash, too. Case in point: the university closed my office, one of the most innovative academic publishing projects anywhere in the country, and canned all five of my staff. It’s shucking off staff as fast as it can dump them, its facilities are going to pot (our office was in an asbestos-ridden condemned building, one of whose floors was closed to public access for fear it would collapse, with no clean source of drinking water and bathrooms so decrepit we would walk to neighboring buildings to use the toilets). ASU is not going to build anything on that downtown site; not during your lifetime or mine. And I can assure you, once Crow is gone, the insanely ambitious schemes that are steering the university toward bankruptcy will come to an end.

I am now unemployed, thanks to the fallout from those insanely ambitious schemes, and at my age I’m not bloody well about to get another job. I’m only one of many thousands of unemployed Phoenicians who probably will never obtain work with anything like the pay we have lost. Of course, I would like to see my city’s downtown thrive as a vibrant urban core. But not on the backs of the new poor, people like me who are struggling to buy groceries as it is.

Use that $6 million to keep our police, firefighters, and libraries operating!

2 thoughts on “A letter to the Phoenix City Council”

  1. Amen Sister: You can write the same letter to every city in the US I bet! Did you send the letter? I sincerely hope that you did.


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