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Last night the City Council had a golden opportunity to put the issue of environmental justice to rest. Once again it dropped the ball.
Citizens came out in droves expressing their opinions. Expecting results. Only once again to leave empty handed. Whether you are for or against this, to me, this is another miscarriage of justice. By kicking the can. Taking no action. Citizens deserve better.
Not taking action could only lead to more division, more divisive actions in this community.
As an Alderman for District 10 I’ve looked over many documents. Read hundreds of emails, and have listened to many citizens. This is what I’ve found. The people who are behind this have been very professional in their presentations. They have been through in providing facts and documentation in why this is needed for our community. The presentation at last night’s meeting speaks for itself.
The opposition has not produced any factual information as to why environmental justice is harmful to our community. Instead they come up with conspiracy theories that this will harm industrial growth with no facts to back their claims.
It is not okay to go on the radio to throw other city council members under the bus or criticize that young council members lack leadership qualities. As council members, we shouldn’t defame each other, our mayor or our city council president. This does not need to be ugly.
When the fellow from Kolbe & Kolbe spoke against environmental justice, he pointed to how beautiful the riverfront turned out. The riverfront situation is exactly why this resolution is necessary, considering the millions of dollars squandered, all while we continue to fund housing for the wealthy. Meanwhile, back in District 10, working class people are getting tossed from their homes to build a road. The road was built and so were a bunch of apartments for the wealthy where people’s homes once stood.
Today we have semi trucks using neighborhood streets all hours of the day and night because of the design of the new Thomas Street.
When this environmental justice ordinance comes to council to vote, I will be supporting this for various reasons. First and foremost, to protect the citizens of District 10 from future injustices. This is good for Wausau. The opposition has not proven its case.
Lou Larson, District 10 Alderman