Thursday, March 4, 2021

Lake Worth Beach needs term limits... Until then we can vote them out on March 9

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition has devoted much time and energy over the past 17 years to pushing back against the interests of developers in the Lake Worth area seeking to overpower the interests of the local residents in this community that is predominantly a collection of low-rise, working class coastal neighborhoods

But development and real estate greed in what is now called Lake Worth Beach is not just about pavement and pollution, its also an environmental justice issue.

Even the 2010 census (which was thought to have significantly under counted immigrant residents) reported that 60% of the city was made up of Black, Latinx and Indigenous people, largely from Central American and Caribbean countries, many of whom have been making their homes in Lake Worth since fleeing wars and repression in the 1980s.

While there has long been a tension between the residents of the city and the people seeking to maximize profits through real estate investments, that has come to a head in recent years, with an increased effort to push people out by abusive code enforcement policies, even exploiting the pandemic to shut off unpaid utilities of these same residents and their families.

This commission has sought to refute these claims on a very superficial levels, using red scare tactics reminiscent of the McCarthy-era, claiming that the community activists monitoring and exposing these efforts are just getting in the way of progress.

If greed, racism, exploitation and evicting families to make room for high-rise luxury condos are the definition or progress, then the PBCEC is proud to join residents standing in the way of it.

While we are not endorsing candidates in this election, as shown above, we are seeking to educate the public about the current incumbents and show an example of those who are running for their seats. In that spirit, we note the following:

In District 2, Christopher McVoy is a former City Commissioner with a solid record of voting favorably on issues of climate, environment and water quality, as well as social concerns related to immigrant rights and racial justice. His main opponent, Carla Blockson, claims to be independent of the current commissioners but was appointed to fill the District 2 commission seat by the incumbents listed above after the election cycle had already started, and is seen driving around town in the current mayor's personal golf cart.

In District 3, Kim Stokes and Drew Martin both have strong track records and vocal commitments to community activism for environmental and social concerns. Their main opponent has generally voted as a shill for developers for the past 10 years.

In District 1, Sarah Malega has expressed concerns surrounding development, affordable housing, immigrants rights and police accountability. Her only opponents has a 20 year legacy in public office as a deceptive far-right bigot (for example, speaking out recently against community IDs intended to ensure the safety of undocumented residents). He led efforts to shut down a day labor resource center, disband a police oversight board, and end the city's energy conservation program. While he once appeared independent on development issues, he has long since proven to be a tool of developers. Not to mention, he's a MAGA hat-wearing chairperson of the Palm Beach Republican Party's Political Committee

For Mayor, Betty Resch has joined her neighbors in opposing a multimillion dollar handout to developers threatening to forever change the character of the downtown neighborhood she lives in. While we have had disagreements with Resch in the past over some development issues, it is quite clear that the current mayor is a right-wing PR agent for real estate flipping junkies, and it's long past time to kick these fiends and their pushers out out of town. 

That's our two-cents on the matter. We encourage to make up your own mind, and then get out in the streets and engage with your community. 

Oh, and if you still have a Vote By Mail ballot, bring it directly in to the Supervisor of Elections office. Its cutting it too close to mail it.


Forward thinker. said...

Look where we came from. Look where we are now.

We need to keep Lake Worth Beach moving forward.

Unknown said...

We are 10 times WORSE that we were!!! Unless you are a developer flipping junky!!