Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Question of Legitimacy

Tonight, at the resident speak out portion of the CA Board of Directors meeting, Alan Klein testified as the spokesperson for the Coalition for Columbia’sDowntown (CoFoCoDo). He continually used the collective “we” as he leveled attacks at the CA Board and staff for the new proposed plans for Symphony Woods. “Nothing we've seen or heard…as far as we can tell…we know…we do not agree…we oppose this plan,” and so on.

Who is this “we?”

Alan claims CoFoCoDo has "almost 500 supporters" yet when Dorsey’s Search board member Tom Coale asked if there was an actual list of these supporters, Alan admitted that the only public list was “a little old” and numbered closer to 400.

That’s an understatement. The list of supporters is over five years old, going back to the fall of 2006. It’s never been updated. There is no way of knowing whether any of these original supporters support the current statements and positions put forth by its spokesperson.

But that’s not the worst of it. Alan makes a big deal about what he perceives as a lack of transparency on behalf of CA but his own organization is downright opaque. The website lists no officers or board members. There are no minutes of meetings where the organizations positions are discussed and consensus reached. While Alan claims CoFoCoDo supporters oppose the Symphony Woods plan there is no evidence that the organization even met to discuss it or that these 500 supporters were polled.

In other words, the Coalition for Columbia’s Downtown does not have any attributes of a legitimate community organization. It’s a sham, nothing more than a hollow shell. Any positions put forth by such a group should be considered in this context.
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