With a great big “NO!”
John Rousseau, executive secretary of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), appeared recently with the RIPDA state coordinator Sam Bell* on Dan Yorke State of Mind. Bell also heads the ‘Stop the Stadium Group’ and the topic was of course the stadium proposal. Rousseau announced that the 350+ membership of the FPNA has voted to oppose to the stadium proposal and that the original plans for a Central Park should proceed. (Seen here the 195 Commission‘s working plan for riverfront as of June 30, 2014.)
The segment on the stadium proposal starts at the 11 minute mark (Bell’s analysis of why details of the new proposal have not been forthcoming — and why this may provide cover to your state rep — is of particular interest.)
I would like to address Mr. Yorke’s insinuations that Bell’s recent canvassing in House Speaker Mattiello’s own district was somehow “sneaky” or “guerrilla politics.” I’m sorry but in our screwed up system the Speaker of the House has become the most powerful politician in Rhode Island and every single citizen in Rhode Island gets to take the fight to his backyard. Or he can step down and I would be delighted to never give him another thought. Not only were Bell and his able team of volunteers greeted like liberators, but the effort was a totally above-board, legitimate, and a democratic exercise of their rights in a free and open society! (You want sneaky? Mattiello, Zimbalist, and Lucchino behind closed doors. That’s what keeps me up at night.)
State Representative Chris Blazejewski whose District 2 encompasses Fox Point and the Jewelry District responded to our request for comment via email. (I could not discover his official stand on, or any reference to, the stadium at his website or Facebook page.) His initial statement seemed to allow for some wiggle room so I asked for clarification on that original response and got it.
- I have opposed and will continue to oppose a stadium on the riverfront property.
2. I oppose taxpayer subsidies for the proposed stadium, and agree with the positions taken by my neighbors in the Fox Point Neighborhood Association and Jewelry District Association.
Rep. Blazejewski directed my attention to a recent announcement by the Jewelry District Association on their recent vote to locating a stadium on Parcel 4 et al. in the I-195 redevelopment land. They said “NO!”
Blazejewski adds, “While no one wants to see the PawSox leave Rhode Island, our environment, our state resources, and our public parks are too important to the future of the city and state, and we must fight to protect them.”
*RIPDA fundraiser tonight at Ogie’s!