The Stop & Shop Development City Hearing Is Fake, Not Real, Democracy
There will be a City-sponsored public hearing Wednesday, May 29, at the Jackson Mann Community Center, 500 Cambridge St., Allston, 6-8 PM, for the public to make comments about what will be the largest new development in Allston-Brighton history where the Stop & Shop store on Everett St. is now. I encourage you to attend this hearing and hold up the sign I wrote when you're in the audience. The sign is online as a pdf file here. It says, "ONLY RESIDENTS, NOT THE MAYOR OR DEVELOPER$, SHOULD DECIDE WHAT GETS BUILT AND WHY. THAT'S REAL DEMOCRACY!
What we have now is a fake democracy in which only the mayor, who stands with big money developers, has the final say in what gets built in our community and whose interests it will be designed to serve.
In our fake democracy we are reduced to merely being allowed to express opinions. We're allowed to "blow off steam" but not have a real say--never mind the FINAL say--in the important questions concerning a new development. If we're lucky our views will be considered regarding minor aspects of the development, but not the important ones. This is a fake democracy, and it's time we stopped giving it a pass.
It's time we declared that we want REAL DEMOCRACY. Real democracy means that only the residents in a community who support no-rich-and-no-poor equality and mutual aid (i.e., the VAST MAJORITY of residents in most communities) have the final say on all policies and laws for that community, and no "higher authority" (like a mayor or governor or federal government) can overrule its decisions. I discuss this further here.