Letter to the Daily Progress- regarding Chamber of Commerce and Poverty

I have sent this to the Daily Progress in response to their recent article on the Greater Charlottesville Area Development Corporation report on poverty in Charlottesville.

I could have written pages on how ridiculous the proposal made by the Chamber of Commerce is, but was forced to express a thought or two in only 350 words.

They seem to be offering a counter proposal to my platform and plans for guaranteed employment, increasing wages and affordable housing

Some things to consider- “Development Corporation” should really be the big giveaway in all of this. The Chamber is not interested in poor people, it is interested in making lots of money. While the data provided is accurate, its actually nothing new, and they seem to have found poverty a beautiful reason to get everything they want, more business, more growth, and a big new dam and pipeline.
Don’t fall for it.

here’s the letter, hope they publish it-

I am intrigued by the recent study of the GCADC as outlined in the Daily Progress on 9/26/11. While the data is solid, the Chamber of Commerce only offers solutions that suit their desires for more profits and which do not create more jobs, higher wages, or lower bills. Eliminating poverty needs to be a priority for our city, we have to do more than rely on business competition.

Competition for contracts keeps wages low and won’t create many jobs. Something that UVA could be doing now- but doesn’t – is ensuring that contracted employees get paid a living wage and ending the use of prison labor. More contractors only encourages those practices to continue.

More contracting with the military is counter-productive to building an economy that works for all people. Over half of every tax dollar is spent on the military and it’s contractors, and it is making us poorer.

I propose a jobs center where all people can access work through the private and public sector, find temporary employment, job training and be guaranteed a job at a living wage. A local workforce should be used for all city contracts. Public works could employ great numbers of residents by upgrading our town to be 100% sustainable and accessible. There would be room for a contractors hub, and I support light industry, but the focus should remain on the needs of those seeking employment not businesses.

Further, I call for an end to all public service shut-offs, expanded free service and reduced rates. We could do this for much less than the $142 million it will take to build a new dam and pipeline, a plan that Ridge Schuyler, author of the study, has pushed for aggressively. His water plan will increase the amount paid by residents on their bills, despite 1 in 5 not being able to pay their bills already.

The Chamber of Commerce is not interested in eliminating poverty, they are interested in increasing profits. If you seek a meaningful approach to poverty please visit my website and vote for Brandon Collins on November 8th.

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2 Responses to Letter to the Daily Progress- regarding Chamber of Commerce and Poverty

  1. “Competition for contracts keeps wages low and won’t create many jobs. Something that UVA could be doing now- but doesn’t – is ensuring that contracted employees get paid a living wage and ending the use of prison labor. More contractors only encourages those practices to continue.”

    “More contracting with the military is counter-productive to building an economy that works for all people. Over half of every tax dollar is spent on the military and it’s contractors, and it is making us poorer.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with your stance Brandon. I forgive Mr. Slutzky for promoting the presence of NGIC because he had no idea what he was doing by allowing the Military to gain a toehold on the Central Virginia region.. no idea whatsoever.. Newport News and Norfolk are not beautiful places to visit. The Military acts as if it’s allergic to the notion of “Organic PermaCulture”, and that is assuming they are aware the term/concept/potential reality exists.. By the time Industrial Hemp becomes legal in Virginia, Hampton Roads won’t have one one square foot left on which to grow it thanks to the corruption and miseducation rampant in the federal military establishment and the blatant cowtowing/pandering of Hampton Roads politicians to said establishment.. The environment in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which is comprised of 7 or more cities, has been DESTROYED by commercial enterprise and the federal military with no mercy. No oversight. No accountability. NO JUSTICE. Even the local government there is run by Paul Trible accolytes… my neighbors growing up.. The best comparison I could give, being born and raised in Newport News, would be that Charlottesville is like Hobbit-ton, and Hampton Roads is like Mordor.
    Hampton Roads = FAIL
    And Brandon, I am very Grateful that you have highlighted the counter-productive nature of the Military-Industrial Complex in this very poignant reductionist/condensed version of your stance..
    All it would take would be one day in Hampton Roads for every one reading your article to realize you are right.

    Sincerely,
    Willits Bowditch

  2. Stuart J. Holme says:

    “I propose a jobs center where all people can access work through the private and public sector, find temporary employment, job training and be guaranteed a job at a living wage. A local workforce should be used for all city contracts. Public works could employ great numbers of residents by upgrading our town to be 100% sustainable and accessible. There would be room for a contractors hub, and I support light industry, but the focus should remain on the needs of those seeking employment not businesses.”

    I completely and whole-heartedly endorse this policy proposal. I am not sure if the guarantee of a job is possible (but do it if you can!), but close coordination with the VEC and, ultimately, to Social Security to streamline benefits for the truly unemployable would be a good thing.

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