Well big sage, whoever you are, you can start by using your real name. I have a policy against arguing with people on the internet whose identity is unknown.
If you can do that, then address your feelings about the seven block strip of Broadway from where the soon-to-be Poverello begins to the Greyhound bus station that includes three pawn shops, two tattoo parlors, FIVE cheap motels, a liquor store, a casino, Missoula Youth Homes, a sex shop, HomeWORD, the YWCA, and now, apparently the Union Gospel Mission. Do you at all have any misgivings not about the merits of the individual establishments but the CONCENTRATION of those establishments in a relatively small area along both a waterfront and an historic working class neighborhood?
A neighborhood that has a collected average household income that is 2/3rds of the Missoula average. A neighborhood with a beloved elementary school with the highest concentration of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch in town. A neighborhood that has three trailer parks embedded in it.
Do you think it is at all sensible for us as a community to ask if it's worth our time to find ways to effect the geographical distribution and diversity of businesses and organizations in our town? Do you think it is at all worth our time to care how Missoula's economic stratifaction is laid out in the real world? Does it matter to you that such a high proportion of poverty is in ONE SMALL PART OF TOWN?
That is the issue that is driving westside residents to object to the Union Gospel's move. If we could trade the Colonial, Citilodge, Super 7 for the 3:16, we'd take it in a heart beat. We don't get the opportunity to address how those establishments impact our neighborhood. And we probably won't have a chance to do anything about the Union Gospel either. But we hope to at least call into question the issue of concentration of economic strife in a very small part of town.
It's not, as so many Missoula liberals appear to believe, a reactionary anger toward panhandling and people down on their luck. We live with people down on their luck every day and we feel far more connected to the reality of life because of it than those who live in the University district or the Rattlesnake, or Grant Creek.
But how much is too much?
So cute, so clever, so lacking in a basic understanding of complexity. When someone wants to actually discuss equitable city planning, let me know.
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