For the first time, I participated in a protest of a structure being built in our neighborhood, along with a significant number of other neighbors and concerned citizens.
In light of our affordable housing crisis, I was shocked that the mayor and the majority of the City Council (with the exception of Councilmember Sneddon), approved an individual project in our neighborhood that exponentially increases the price of nearby real estate, even further placing home ownership out of reach for regular families. Apparently, they would rather cram families into a small apartment unit, than make owning or renting a home more possible.
It is clear that the Design Board, the mayor, and the majority of the City Council are more interested in increasing the city’s tax base and avoiding the displeasure of a mega-rich person, than the rights of people living in the neighborhood or coming up with common sense solutions. I found out that some basic rights we think we have are elusive.
If you think you have rights as a homeowner or a renter, guess again. The applicant’s lawyer gleefully states that no one has a right to light, air, views and privacy. But even if that is so, why does the applicant think it is okay to cause the suffering of others in order to build his dream home, just because he can?
If you think we all have equal rights, dream on.