Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chicago's controversial big- box ordinance has produced its first casualty...

Well Target isn't coming to 115th and Mansfield. Target has put on hold plans for building a new store at that intersection. This was what Carrie Austin, she's the alderman there in the 34th Ward has to say about this...

Austin was one of only 15 aldermen to vote against the big-box ordinance. She was devastated, but not surprised, when the letter arrived from Target. "My colleagues are saying, 'Don't worry. They'll come.' Well, mine just left," Austin said.

"I'm depressed. Calumet Park has land right across the street they can develop. Our development will just sit there for another century. I don't need more housing. I need sales tax revenue and jobs. How do I pull my community out of the slump that it's in? How do we get a rebirth? Sales tax revenue. That's how."

Shiller did not return repeated phone calls. Austin said she's now pinning her hopes on a mayoral veto.

"That would be a big yahoo for me because that means my development can get a breath of new air. Without it, it will not take place at any time -- not next week, next month or next year," she said.
Well the vote was said to be veto proof but if the Mayor was to veto this ordinance he has to persuade two alderman. I read in the Tribune yesterday that he has to make a decision by September 13th. Here's what was also said about that in today's Sun-Times article...

Another mayoral ally, who asked to remain anonymous, noted that all of the undecided votes broke in favor of the ordinance, in part, because of a lack of direction from Daley.

"If he put 'em on, he can take 'em off," the alderman said of last week's veto-proof 35-14 vote.

If Daley decides to veto -- and pick another fight with a City Council growing bolder by the day -- there are several likely targets to be plucked off. They include mayoral allies Todd Stroger (8th), who needs Daley's support in the race for County Board president; John Pope (10th); George Cardenas (12th); Ginger Rugai (19th); Danny Solis (25th), who may want to run for city clerk or Congress, and Ariel Reboyras (30th).
Solis was undecided up until the moment he cast his vote in favor of the "living wage" ordinance. Asked last week if Daley could persuade him to change his mind, Solis said, "If he asked me, I'd consider it only after hearing his rationale for it. But I don't believe he'll want to do it. It's too much of a polarizing situation. Let the courts take care of it."

Another big-box supporter, who asked to remain anonymous, said he too could be persuaded to change sides. But he doesn't want to be publicly identified yet, for fear of being hung out to dry.
Also said in today's article, which was also said in the Tribune yesterday was that Daley warned that this ordinance could translate into higher property taxes because the city would miss out on the resulting sales tax revenue from a store that has 90,000 square feet and does $1 Billion in sales...
"I know. Fine. When they get the property tax bills, they'll agree with me. . . . I believe the sales tax is a fairer tax than the property tax. That's what the issue will be about," Daley said at a City Hall news conference called to renew the call for property tax relief.
Let's hope either the courts can decide this or the mayor is successful in vetoing this legislation.

Crossposted @ It's My Mind


Larry Horse 4:07 PM  

I posted this in one of BILLBAAR!'s posts, and I feel like reposting it:

I totally agree, the big box ordinance is perhaps one of the most anti-working class ordinances passed by the City Council.

Joe Moore reminds me a lot of George Bush in this respect. Joe Moore said that he was helping the working class in Chicago, when he was doing something to hurt them really badly. Likewise, George W Bush said that he wants to spread freedom and democracy across the Middle East, when his administration's actions and policies have done more to hurt this effort than any President in US history.

The sad thing is that both of them probably had the best of intentions and believed that they were really helping. This goes to show that people acting with good intentions can really hurt the causes they care about if they act without a full understanding of the situation at hand.

Bill Baar 4:29 PM  

This is the problem with the left.

The ordinance helps Dominicks, Jewel, and the IFCWU.

It hurts consumers if it keeps out the big boxes.

There really isn't much in the way of small retailers to get protected by the law.

It hurts the tradsmen who would build the stores and the Teamsters who would deliver.

It's basically a where's mine law and there's nothing immoral about that either.

But it get's dressed up in this sanctimonous rhetoric that clouds the costs and benefits.

To pretend this is some great move for social justice is nuts. It just does a huge disservice to real movements for social justice to pretend otherwise.

The West Side has been hard up for investment since the riots of 1969. Things were starting to finally look up and then this law comes along.

Larry Horse 4:50 PM  
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Larry Horse 4:54 PM  

You'll find just as much hypocrisy on the right as on the left. The problem is that both sides think they're somehow better than the other in this regard.

Bill Baar 5:16 PM  

One thing about hypocrits is they usually have about half of it right... in fact almost always.

And sure you can find them on both sides.

The left just seems to have way more of it's share of mundane politics dressed up in high, moralistic language... and this big box ordinance is a classic.

The right gets like this with abortion and stem cells and marriage... say what you will, but those are all core moral issues, and you really need to draw on religious traditions and philosophy to help decide them.

The big box is about power and economics.

Mayor Daley and some Alderman took a different side and to suggest they're somehow not as concerned about people and development as the folks who voted for this ordinance really rubs me the wrong way.

Larry Horse 6:19 PM  
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Larry Horse 6:21 PM  

The right's biggest claim to hypocrisy is the claim that they support small government and balanced budgets or oppose government getting involved in people's private lives or in the free market.

That's all about power and economics.

Larry Horse 6:29 PM  

I think the way that people dress up supporting Israel as a moral cause is like what you're saying. Israel's a country that has a lot of innocent blood on their hands facing enemies with a lot of innocent blood on their hands. Also, Israel has been a major oppressor of Arabs just like most of its neighbors. I think we should support Israel because they have been our strongest ally in a region where we need strong allies, but I don't think that they have any moral high ground in the region, considering the flagrant abuses of human rights that they perpetrate on the Palestinians in the territories they occupy

Patrick McDonough 6:49 PM  

Please review and comment. The millions spent giving freebees to major corporation, such as TIF's are fine? These are taxes we Chicago residents pay. If we wish these coporations to enjoy these benefits they should also play by rules we ask them to play by. If Walmart or Target want to come to Chicago it is because they smell money. When these companies threaten to move out of Chicago, let us help them pack. Great job Alderman Joe Moore, business is a two way street.

Patrick McDonough 10:06 PM  

Expect More Paid Less.. Target

John Ruberry 11:19 PM  

Joe "Empty Storefronts" Moore is quiet.

Anonymous,  12:03 AM  

Daley controls the puppets Solis and Cardenas completely can easily get their votes changed.

Bill Baar 10:24 AM  

I think the way that people dress up supporting Israel as a moral cause is like what you're saying.

The moral failure of Israel's critics is that they fail to say anything about Nasrallah / Assad / Ahmanijad.

They're all given a free pass.

Liberals often fails miserably making what, a great Liberal Rheinhold Neibuhr, called Relative Distinctions.

Liberalism simply can't sort out the lessor of evils: a Democratic and Liberal Israel waging war for survival vs Theocratic nuts and mobsters in Hezballah, Syria, and Iran.

The relative distinction, the moral evaluation, just flies right past them.

Similarly with the Big Box ordinance. The relative distinction just fly right past them.

They can't weigh the difference between the economic good these stores can bring vs the low wages and lack of benefits they offer.

Liberalism just can't look very far in the future; to connect the dots. It was best described by a Frenchman,

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.

Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.

Liberals stuck on the small good to come of this ordinance and oblivious to the great evil to come. Liberals used to be smarter than that.

Larry Horse 11:38 AM  

I agree, dealing with Israel is a fault of those on both ends of the spectrum. It's sick that those who criticize Israel don't criticize the blatant abuses perpetrated by Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, and friends.

It's also just as sick that those who criticize Iran, Hezbollah, etc., fail to criticize Israel for their despicable policies towards the Palestinians in the Occupied territories.

I really do feel bad for Arabs. They get oppressed by Egypt, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, all thug states that deny their human rights. I think the neocons would have been much smarter to try to solve the Israel/Palestine issue before they went on the Iraq adventure because as long as Arab despots can point to the horrors that the Israelis perpetrate on the Palestinians, they can deflect attention from their own human rights abuses.

Larry Horse 11:44 AM  

And please don't call Israel democratic. You can't be called a democratic state when they deny basic human rights to the Palestinians whose territories they occupy. The elections in the Palestinian territories were as much of a sham as elections in Iran, as no matter who the voters chose, there would be a higher power that would really be in charge (Israel for the Palestinians, the ayatollahs for Iran).

Israel can't be called a democracy until there is a Palestinian state or the Palestinians in occupied territories get an equal vote in the Knesset.

And survival does not justify the human rights abuses. By that logic, those in Assad's or Mubarak's party are justified in continuing to oppress the Arabs under their control because if they got thrown out of power by extremists, they'd all likely be killed. You can't have it both ways.

Until Israel recognizes the human rights of the Arabs in occupies territories, they're as bad as Syria.

Bill Baar 12:48 PM  


Note Israel left Lebanon, Gaza, and wants out of the left bank.

I'm convinced one reason behind this War was Abbas' call for a referendum on recognizing Israel as part of his confrontation with Hamas. Hamas prevoked a confrontation with Israel rather than face Arab voters on that one.

Israel is hardly perfect. But an Arab in Israel enjoys far greater rights of citzenship then a Kurd in Syria (who has none), or an Arab in Iran's Khuzestan.

When the National minorities in these middle east countries enjoy the same level of sympathy from the Western Left as Arabs in the West Bank or Gaza; I'll feel different maybe. Right now, the only protest is directed against a Jewish State. Assad and the Mullah's get a pass.

That's a profound failure on the part of Israel's many critics.

Larry Horse 2:00 PM  

Both sides fail, Israel's critics and Israel's defenders.

However, you can't criticize Israel critics for pointing out what Israel does to the Palestinians while not pointing out what Syria does to its population when you don't equally criticize Israel for committing the same evils on the Palestinians in occupied territories that Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have done to civilians under their control.

You can focus on Syria and Iran, but you have no right to criticize those who focus on Israel, unless you also highlight Israel's sins, which contribute as much to Arab subjugation (and thus fuel anger and terrorism) as their neighbor thug regimes.

And pulling out of the Gaza is a half measure that is a joke for Israel to say that they are doing anything significant when they still sent in rocket attacks (before the present skirmishes), and control Gaza's external affairs. Until the Palestinians have the dignity of a fully independent sovreign state, then Israel is still no better than Syria.

How were those for complex sentences?

(Note I personally loathe the despicable abuses of human rights committed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Syria, and the other dictatorships of the regions. My personal dream would be to see real democracies for the Arabs and Muslims who are blatantly abused by all of these sickening regimes.

Bill Baar 3:06 PM  

I focus on Iran at the moment because they are building nukes and missles; and ruled at the moment by a man who thinks the 12th Imam will return in a few weeks on August 22nd to usher in an era of Islamic justice.

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