Allen [from Occupy] “tea party argument?”And last night, after a long meeting, the City Council voted against extending the permit to use the parking lot.
Mayor, says “yes”, that is the most selfish, right-wing, tea party argument I heard, I listened to it on Tuesday night, and to me that was the most offensive thing I heard all evening. That the site didn’t cost anything, that there was no public expense.
Allen asks what was the public expense that would not be spent three or four times as much if these people were out in the community?
Mayor says the city has a public health department. Who pays for it?
Allen says “How many people out there were served by the Public Health Department?”
The mayor says you are missing the point.
Allen says I guess I am.
But you should have heard the crying and pleading from dedicated Madison folk about how important it was to keep open this wholly unregulated, health-code flouting shanty town, which, it was argued, was housing the homeless.
ADDED: I was rushing to an early morning appointment as I put this post up, so let me elaborate a little.
First, my "you should have heard" is based on personal knowledge. Meade and I watched the meeting on television, and there were many extremely earnest witnesses talking about how the Occupy camp was ministering to the poor and outcast.
Second, my first link goes to a blog post by Brenda Konkel about a meeting various Occupy people had with the mayor last Friday. Konkel says she's transcribing an audiotape of that meeting. Mayor Soglin takes the position that the city has organized, well-funded services for the homeless and rejects the idea of the Occupy camp as an alternative approach to dealing with the homeless. The Occupy people are critical of the "conditions" and requirements at the city's institutions.
Steve [from Occupy says] It started as a political protest, people had good intentions, for a lot of reasons it changed into something different. And in some ways, what came out of it is better than just people protesting against the 1%. And other cities do make this work, other cities do see some potential in that. What I’m saying is Terry has, I’m in this because of Terry, I see he has some amazing skills in terms of conflict resolution, in terms of people seeing some value in their lives, that they are not getting from the existing system and I just think the city has to have some imagination about how to make use of his skills instead of telling him get lost, we have no place for you.When the mayor accuses the Occupy folk of making a right-wing argument, he explains (as paraphrased/transcribed by Konkel):
[T]he point is we have in place a health department, we have in place a fire department, we have in place a city treasurer, we have in place all these functions that are available if needed which cost money every single day. This is not Horatio Alger, this is not a world where everyone is in there on their own. And there may have been days when the fire department wasn’t called in, but it had to be paid for every single day because we wanted to know it was available....AND: Here's the video of the entire city council meeting. Go to 2:58:22 and hear Alderman Mark Clear say "Capitalism pays for socialism." Context:
I've been all over the map emotionally myself on this issue.... I really appreciate and value what Occupy Madison has done for this city... I'm proud that we as a community unlike many other communities in this country have been able to sustain it.... I was ready to say, early tonight, you know, April 30th/June 30th, it's not that big a deal, so let's buy us some time.... After hearing the kind of legal and logistical issues that we're faced with... I've come to the conclusion that that's not a viable option....The way to deal with poverty in the city, he says, is through development. We need to build our tax base:
Capitalism pays for socialism. That's absolutely true. The way we will be able to help the people we want to help in our community is by having the resources to be able to do it. And the only way we can do that... is by growing our real estate base.