Very interesting evening. I would estimate there were over 75 attendees, allwomen, except for Mike Ross. Also, it was an all white crowd (no pun intended),not even an Asian face in the group.
There was a reporter from the Globe ( Ithink she said her name was Leslie Gittes (??)).Patricia gave a short speech on her major campaign issues, which she said areschools and housing and ended by saying that she supports the biolab and thatshe feels strongly that we all must support our universities and institutionsbecause of their contribution to the city. That sentence proved to be herundoing with this crowd. One woman shot back with a comment about getting theBRA under control and acting in the interests of the residents andneighborhoods. There was a lot of support for that position with this group,which frankly surprised me. When she was questioned about the affects of unbridledinstitutional expansion on our tax base and housing, she said that "NewburyStreet merchants need those students to support their businesses." Another badresponse, since there was a woman who owned a retail shop on Newbury Street whowas pushed out to the South End by the NikeTown/Armani/Gap move down Newbury.She said there were very few small, local retailers left so who were wesupporting exactly?
Wow, so Patricia White believes we have to support institutional expansion which erodes our tax base since none of these universities are required to pay property tax so that the retailers on Newbury Street can be supported by the rich kids who go there?
I'm a millionaire and I still don't shop on Newbury Street. I prefer Salvation Army myself, or signing up for the free Red Sox T-Shirts at Fenway. When I was in college I was lucky to have $5 bucks for a case of Weidemann beer on a Friday. Kids who can afford to shop on Newbury Street are also kids who can afford to pay for their cost to the city while they are our "guests for four years" as Steve Murphy puts it. The rich just don't get it. Patricia was the only front running candidate who didn't bother to come to the Roxbury Ward meeting last night. At least I give her credit for knowing that she isn't going to get many votes in the minority community and she doesn't waste her time there. But then why is she running city wide? 50% of the city is minorities. As someone at one of my get togethers recently said, where are they going to go?
"Is BU going to become Somerville University?" I don't think so.