February 10, 2014
Trader Joe Non-Oppressed
The Portland African American Leadership Forum sent a blistering email to PDC leaders and Mayor Charlie Hales Wednesday demanding the urban renewal agency suspend the Trader Joe's development and all tax-increment-financed projects in the Interstate Corridor urban renewal area.Trader Joe's pulled out of the deal, so the really oppressed residents get to keep their 2.9 million dollar vacant lot vacant.
The lot is currently vacant and has been for years.
PAALF, established in 2009, is a group of African American leaders united around an agenda of equity in education, economic development, housing and health issues.
The Trader Joe's development will increase displacement of low-income residents and "increase the desirability of the neighborhood," for "non-oppressed populations," PAALF wrote.
PDC's board authorized selling the land, valued at $2.9 million last December, to Majestic Realty for just $502,160 last month. PAALF said the subsidized deal benefits "one of the richest families in the country."
I guess no one thought that maybe some of the oppressed residents might get a job there and be able to improve their lives? Or that maybe the rising tide of an improved economy and more affluent residents might lift some of the more oppressed residents out of poverty?
Or maybe the community organizers got worried that maybe their captive population of disadvantaged people might get away and they'd end up having to get a real job?