Misleading the Readers

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 3, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The Chronicle’s coverage of the Springdale Farm zoning change is misleading readers [“Discord Grows Over Springdale Farm,” News, Nov. 28]. Businesses seeking zoning changes with community opposition is nothing new, however, this one-sided reporting brings to light another story.
   The issue is a neighborhood resisting the negative impact of an event center, not the farm itself. Anyone supporting the zoning change because they feel that farms should have 30 outdoor amplified events a year, or because a lame-duck council should override a Latino community’s neighborhood plan on the eve of their win for representation, is doing nothing for the future of farms or community relations.
    Support for the zoning change has been drummed up through the Chronicle’s pro-gentrification message, which plays to people’s white privilege. (Number of POC staff at Chronicle?) Connected is the defamation of council candidate Susana Almanza and PODER, with no genuine reporting on their decades of community activism or significant successes, but instead a portrait of people who refuse to negotiate. I wager that Almanza and campaign manager Daniel Llanes have negotiated successfully with developers and the city more than all the candidates combined.
    The Chronicle insists on making these claims because if readers knew that there were activists that have been promoting community gardening and environmental justice for over 30 years with an exceptional record of working across race, class, and political lines, then readers may not only vote Susana and stop supporting Springdale Farm's zoning change, but might also build the relationships necessary to mitigate gentrification and the expanding development of condos, tourism, and elite services in East Austin. The Chronicle has deep economic and political stakes in gentrification and has biasedly reported on such issues for years. Readers should understand that the Eastside has a right to be defended, and the easiest way to stop colonialism is by telling the truth.
Tane Ward
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