Wednesday, May 9, 2012

City Council meeting 4/7/2012

This week’s council meeting was particularly exciting for two reasons, the Corvallis chapter of Occupy Wall Street was there to encourage the city of Corvallis to move their money out of Wells Fargo and the council approved the Open Spaces Amendment in regards to the Seavey Meadows easement.

The Occupiers central message was that the City of Corvallis current deposits city revenue at Wells Fargo, a multinational corporation with the highest share of housing mortgages in the United States and at the heart of the current economic crisis.

A media organizer for Corvallis Occupy, Eric Coker, told the counselors that Corvallis needs to move our money to smaller and more local and ethical financial institutions is a means to stimulate and strengthen local economic ties within the community, and that will ultimately improve the local economy and foster community cohesion. 

While the Mayor and councilors were cordial to the Occupiers, ultimately the realities of modern economics and regulations prevent cities like Corvallis from moving their money because of existing federal and state regulations. At the end of the public comment, a "mic check" was called for, the Occupiers loudly chanted, with their hands "linked" together by duct-tape, about how we are enslaved to corporations and wall street.

The truly exciting event however was Patricia Muir's final victory, after 20 years, in getting the open space amendment passed for the seavey meadows. This amendment will save thirty acres of wetlands and will ensure that it remains open for public use. 

Given that the city of corvallis is short of open land, per its state goals, this amendment benefits not just the local ecology but will also ensure that Corvallis maintains compliance with its stated development goals. The land in question is owned by the city of corvallis, and has been since the property developer went bankrupt and ceded the property back to the city. Mrs. Muir, and her daughters, have been fighting to keep this land public, open, and to curtail urban sprawl for the last twenty years.
Laura King was also there and testified about how her and her daughters had been enjoying the open space and beautiful wetlands for the last fifteen years. She mentioned how much she enjoyed hearing the frogs and crickets in the evening. Mrs. King is no flower child, she is a hydrological engineer and understand the need for wetlands better than most, especially in regards to waste water management. 

No counselors spoke in opposition to the amendment and it passed unanimously. Sometimes the road is long but the goal is worthy.

At a glance - Patricia Muir’s official Oregon state page - Notice for Seavey Meadows Open space amendment - Corvallis Occupy official page

Contact for persons interested in being active with the local Occupy movement:
Eric Coker (Organizer & Media), Occupy Corvallis,
Stephanie Hampton (Media), Occupy Corvallis