East of I-35: Welcomes Thoughtful Development

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    The same people protesting these developments today were protesting the apparent racism shown by the lack of development on the Eastside not that long ago [“How Not to Gentrify: HRC Asks for Eastside Moratorium,” News, Nov. 4]. PODER director Susana Almanza seems to be selectively citing statistics when she talks about the increase in the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood property values from 1998 to 2004. The six years in question have seen property values skyrocket all over Austin, not just on the Eastside. Property values aren't static. They will either go up or down. Many of us east of 35 welcome thoughtful development and restoration efforts as an effective alternative to the steady deterioration and accompanying increased crime rates of the previous decades. PODER would be more effective at protecting the poor by using the economic tools offered by the new Homestead Preservation Districts introduced by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, last spring (which went into effect Sept. 11) to make sure that affordable housing remains in the mix, and to keep us from becoming SoCo East. And please, Susana, let your Eastside neighbors enjoy some of the aesthetic and safety benefits of Austin's economy for a change.
Alan Sudo
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