Hello to Friends of Lents Park members and supporters:
First, an update on tomorrow's activities. The Urban Renewal Advisory Committee has released meeting materials for tomorrow night's meeting, including at least some of the "funding scenarios" they will be considering. Check our website www.lentspark.blogspot.com for links to the materials; also attached is a summary (prepared by FLP Steering Committee member Paulette Filz) explaining the various scenarios in "real numbers."
Second, and most importantly: URAC HAS AGREED TO POSTPONE THEIR VOTE! Tomorrow's hearing will still be happening at 6:00 p.m., and our rally outside at 5:00 p.m. Nothing has changed, except that in the interests of a fuller public process, they will not hold the actual vote until a week later. Your e-mails have made a difference, and our demands are being listened to!
Just a reminder, the schedule tomorrow will be:
4:00 p.m. Open House
5:00 p.m. OUR RALLY (outside, during last hour of open house)
6:00 p.m. URAC meeting starts
This will all take place tomorrow, Thursday, June 18, at the Mt. Scott Community Center (SE 72nd and Harold).
We have received assurances from Chair Cora Potter that public testimony will be taken at tomorrow's hearing. YOUR PARTICIPATION IS VERY IMPORTANT. For those of you who have not given testimony at a public meeting before, the following tips may be helpful.
DO sign up to testify. There will likely be a sign-up sheet, available at the start of the meeting or before. As soon as you arrive, get inside the building and get your name on the sheet.
DO speak out as a resident of Lents. The URAC members are charged with representing us, and they can't do that unless they hear from us! Nobody is a bigger expert on your park, or your neighborhood, than YOU. People may attend this hearing who have PhD's in forestry or urban design, but if they do not live in Lents, their testimony will not count as much as yours.
DO tell your friends in surrounding neighborhoods to come and testify too! The Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area includes significant parts of five neighborhoods besides Lents: Powellhurst-Gilbert, Brentwood-Darlington, Mt. Scott-Arleta, Foster-Powell and Creston-Kenilworth. That means it's their money too! And their urban renewal programs that may get the axe! (And they don't even get a stadium out of it!)
DO limit your testimony to two minutes, which is likely all the time you'll have. A good guide, if you're preparing written remarks, is about a page and a half typed, double-spaced. Ideally you will get the chance to rehearse and time yourself.
DO get the facts about the stadium project and the urban renewal funding proposals. Besides the URAC meeting materials mentioned above and attached, you can go to our website and follow the link at "Friends of Lents Park Documents" for our stadium fact sheet and other important documents.
DON'T be intimidated by all the facts and figures. If you are not able to read and analyze everything quickly enough to prepare "technical" testimony, that doesn't mean what you have to say isn't important. The public simply has not been given enough time here, which is why we pushed so hard for a vote to be delayed. (Thank them for that, by the way.) Your feelings about the park, and the stadium proposal, are valid and deserve to be heard.
DON'T be profane or engage in personal attacks, as that will allow our message to be more easily dismissed. We can be outraged and passionate while still coming across as reasonable!
See you there tomorrow night! Together we are winning this!
Kathleen Juergens de Ponce
for the FLP Steering Committee
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