The issues we discussed were
•26 recently foreclosed homes
•noise pollution from sirens
•air pollution from trucks
•the city plan has expired, offering an opportunity to be involved in a new one
•they would like a food coop
•City Place, apparently a planned housing and commercial facility, is planned
•becoming involved neighborhood by neighborhood rather than having an event to which folks would be invited in the center of town.
In the pop-ups we have worked to tie local problems to the larger picture, the banks, capitalism, etc. Folks began to talk a bit about the national and international connections to their local issues. Talked about the September 17 anniversary and they began to talk about using the press coverage for that to make a parallel event in Barre.
The upshot is that we do not have a plan for a pop-up there. They are going to keep us abreast of their plans and we will plug in. Also, they asked us to keep them apprised of our plans so they can plug in.
* Some folks can meet up again next Wednesday at 6:30pm at City Hall Park. There might be left over activity (or band) from the farmers’ market that day, so maybe go over to the lawn in front of the library, but the city hall park should work
* Many issues were discussed:
— Housing — affordability, foreclosures, leveling 25 affordable housing units with city place renovations, substandard housing, and a housing unit known as the “Central Hotel” on main street in barre that is owned by Trombley (also the city attorney) which is rented for fairly high prices to those on probation and is likely below code
— Emissions — tractor trailer traffic down main street in barre that’s been diverted since the construction, air quality, noise pollution
— Criminal Justice — poverty, increasing incarceration rates, overlap with housing, the revolving door aspect of city officials owning property that rents to those in criminal justice system while publicly degrading all the “criminals,” problems with dealing with the system, overworked probation officers (declining public funding), accountable criminal justice system,
— Downtown development — city place renovations, who owns what, is there housing in the plan, look into city plan, transparency, people’s voice to make sure plans address the needs of people living here now, not gentrifying and pushing poverty into another town/suburb
* Loose idea around an action (possibly a picket line) for the pop-up + doing a People’s Vision for Barre (inner city quality of life and rights) – getting out in front of affordable housing issue
* Need time to outreach to others, plan, etc. A pop-up in September would be better. 9/22 worked for people.
And people took tasks on researching stuff.