Thursday, August 14, 2008
Associate Dave Felice wrote to the open forum at the Denver Post today:
The hypocrisy of the Democratic National Convention is amazing.
City leaders continue to insist “the city is open” and “it’s business as usual” while:
– streets are closed
– snipers are on rooftops
– city establishes “secret” jail in unused warehouse at East 38th Avenue and Steele/York
– public transit schedules change, service cancelled, parking lots closed
– air space is restricted
– chain link fences confine citizens to specific spaces
– the SWAT team sets up a field HQ at a downtown building
– police set up a staging area in the main public library
– classes on the Auraria campus cancelled for a week
– downtown post office is closed
– a number of residents deliberately leave Denver
– anyone carrying a bicycle lock subject to questioning
– city suddenly does park/street maintenance
– hotels, service businesses doubling/tripling prices
– hundreds of extra police officers imported from other jurisdictions
– downtown workers finding ways to stay home
Democratic Party delegates will be holding their convention in a facility belonging to a staunch anti-union Republican. Delegates are staying in non-union hotels, using non-union transportation, and dining at non-union restaurants.
The amount of money being spent, officially and unofficially, on an unneeded event is absolutely obscene. How much better could even part of that money be used for schools, housing, other social programs, and infrastructure?
While Denver tries to shed its self-conscious “cow town” image, convention participants are likely to run to Rockmount Western Wear for shirts with pearly snap buttons and cowboy boots of exotic skins before dinner at the Buckhorn Saloon where even the New Yorkers and Bostonians will try to talk with a western drawl.
Since city officials heavily tout the “economic benefit” of the convention, will the city VOLUNTARILY offer verifiable evidence? For example, the city ought to be able to report increased revenue from sales and lodging taxes. Denver International Airport could report revenue on increased traffic.
The city should encourage other businesses, such as taxi companies and private security companies, to offer some kind of report of percentages of increased revenue. It’s highly unlikely that anyone will ever know how much the Democratic Party pays for using “The Can” or “The Diaphragm”.
All hail, the Anointed One, and those who hope to touch the hem of his garment.
at 5:15 PM
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