by William Skink
As a mountain town like Missoula gentrifies–prioritizing the public financing of out-of-state developers like Lord Checota over the economically disenfranchised–the political party that is supposed to care about this is the Democratic party.
If you stop laughing, I’ll continue.
Once upon a time Democrats gave more than vacuous rhetorical support for the poor and working classes. This was before the great neoliberal sellout exemplified by the Clinton dynasty.
A political potpourri post about Missoula from Democrat apologist, Pete Talbot, shows what a Democrat like Talbot pays attention to, and what he ignores.
Talbot laments the predictable outcome of the idiotic gun control ordinance and mentions Tax Increment Financing, but only because a conservative PAC mailer criticized the use of TIF money.
I guess Talbot doesn’t care about gentrification and its negative impacts on the economically disenfranchised, which includes older adults on fixed income. In a Missoula Current article about the winter shelter plan, here is a bit about what a working group formed last spring learned:
“We learned that a significant number of shelter guests were over the age of 65 and experienced mobility issues that made it nearly impossible for them to get on and off the floor to sleep on a sleeping mat.”
No one plans for their retirement years to be spent sleeping on a mat on the floor of an overcrowded homeless shelter, but here in our liberal utopia, that is increasingly what’s happening. And it’s being exacerbated by a Mayor that uses TIF money like his own personal slush fund.
There is a reason why Jesse Ramos and Team Liberty are getting political traction in Missoula. The reign of Engen and his rotating stable of rubber-stampers has seen the cost of housing explode while enrollment at UM has imploded. As the economic situation for many Missoulians stagnates or worsens, a building boom has enriched developers and bestowed upon Lord Checota a music venue monopoly he is exploiting for maximum financial gain.
None of this apparently interests a Democratic apologist like Pete Talbot.