Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eric Gomez Crawls Back Down

As if to emphasize the appropriate nature of the group's name, as well as demonstrating his uncertain grasp of First Amendment jurisprudence in the defamation area, City Councilor Eric Gomez initially threatened to sue community organizer Julie Hall and the organization Who Owns Tulsa for this allegedly defamatory statement:
"And, that has been a pattern that we've seen with him and his voting, when his constituents voice their concerns, he votes the other way,"

Now it would appear that Gomez has abandoned the notion of litigation and is willing to "settle for an apology". Actually, an apology from the City Council to the residents of the regrettably named White City neighborhood would be far more in order.
The Council has done a first-rate job of portraying the White City protest as a simple NIMBY problem, and one must concede that there is some of that involved. But then one remembers that the construction/development interests downtown want the YMCA relocated because it interferes with their backyard, and specifically with their misguided and phantasmal vision of a revitalized downtown (I've lived through at least four of these doomed schemes already and I've come to know a boondoggle when I see one). The White City residents noted that Tulsa has a much more appropriate setting for the mental patients and alcoholics living at the "Y" - a location boasting excellent proximity to high-quality medical care and good access to the public transportation lines which would connect the new neighbors to the social services and blood banks downtown. Yeah, you got it....Utica Square would be the perfect new location for the "Y" and would permit the downtown Mob an opportunity to develop their nascent egalitarian impulse. Maybe some of the Cascia hall moms could swap their prescription Somas for a little crank or junk with the new arrivals to the community.

Who owns Tulsa? We already know the answer to that one, and it ain't us. But Julie Hall and her friends deserve a salute for fighting the good fight, anyway.

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