Monday, December 31, 2007

Feedback: Carl Redwood of One Hill

Carl Redwood Jr. serves as Chair of the One Hill CBA Coalition.

He posted a comment to our recent Hill District / Penguins arena post, which he also e-mailed to us. We republish it here without comment for the time being.

The Ministers "Group" is 9 ministers. They don't represent the Hill District community. They don't even represent the members of their church on this issue. They don't want community input or direction.

The "ministers" are a thinly veiled cover for the Hill CDC Board.

The Hill CDC is a small board of individuals. Some of these individuals are among the 9 ministers. They don't represent the Hill District community. They don't want community input or direction.

The One Hill Coalition represents the Hill District Community precisely because of the process of how One Hill was developed. More than 100 organizations from the Hill are members of One Hill. One Hill has held weekly public meetings since April 2007. The negotiating points of One Hill were developed and selected by the community over many meetings from April to August 2007.

The individuals on the CDC Board and any ministers have a right to their opinions. However they were not chosen through any process to represent the Hill District. They do not speak for the Hill District Community.

The Comet asked this of Redwood as a follow-up:

"I've gotta ask ... the Mayor stated clearly that he opposes any funding going to Hill District organizations or initiatives. He may have been addressing Milliones and the Hill CDC, but his statement seemed very broad and very clear. How would you / One Hill respond to that?"

His response:

The Mayor's stated position "No funds controlled by the Hill community" is not acceptable to One Hill. One of our Blueprint points is precisely to create such a fund.

The Mayor has problems with funds to support the Hill District but he has no problem with giving the Penguins control of all revenue from the surface parking lots (which are owned by the Sports and Exhibition Authority = public ownership)

There are 2400 parking spaces. On weekdays, people pay a minimum of $6.00 to park and go to work downtown. That's $6 per car * 2400 spaces = $14400 per day * 300 days = $4320000. In addition to weekday parking, people pay a minimum of $14 to park while attending events. That's $14 per car * 2400 spaces = $33600 * 50 minimum events =$1680000.

The total revenue from parking that is being given to the Penguins is a minimum of $6 million each year. There is a parking tax (<50%)>, which leaves the Penguins with a minimum of $3 million in revenue from their private control of Hill District public owned parking lots.

Mayor Ravenstahl and County Executive Onorato have set up the Penguins in the Hill District Surface Parking lot business. Low overhead. Great revenue. No community benefit.

There you have it.

We hope the two groups can still strike some kind of meaningful accord. For all their differences, they seem to have plenty in common -- and more than enough at stake.


  1. Good point by Mr. Redwood.

    Where does this parking revenue go today?

  2. Not sure. I think maybe the SEA and/or the SMG, which would be the public (sorta).

    Aside from turning the Hill District into the Burkle Parking District, there is also a question of whether or not economic "development" stands a chance of success if the surrounding neighborhood has no stake in it, and is actually in a mutually hostile relationship with it.

  3. Found a good post on the subject here:

    What doesn't make sense to me, and maybe I'm confusing Hill District community groups, is that Tonya Payne, as a member of the URA board, approved the Burkle handout. Now Mr. Redwood is not happy about it. He and Tonya P are both members of the same group (One Hill), correct?

  4. Correct, you confuse nothing.

    In fact, it was at that exact URA meeting that Payne ultimately threw in her lot with One Hill.

    The only thing I can figure is that URA chair Zober assured everybody at the time that all community benefits issues would be better dealt with at City Planning. Which is where we have finally arrived.

  5. Bram: I don't think that Zober has anything to do with setting the parameters for the struggle over a community benefits agreement. One Hill is using the Planning Commission process to try to force the issue because it is available as an avenue for pressure. Community activist groups, when they are well-organized, are perfectly capable of setting their own timetables and forcing the ultimate decision-makers to respond to them, rather than the other way around.

    Whether they will ultimately succeed is an open question, of course. The sort of division sown by the Udin-connected faction (who are mortified that Tonya Payne might be able to take credit for something) only weakens the community groups' fight in the face of the Penguins' and the administration's pressure and backsliding.

    All kudos to people like Carl Redwood for trying to keep things together in the face of this deliberate divisiveness -- unity is the only way that a disenfranchised community like the Hill can hope to put real political pressure on the mayor et. al., when the Penguins are still the ones with all the power. Ultimately the coalition is going to have to decide which of its demands are priorities and which have to be given up, though.

  6. Felix, we find your opinions intriguing, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    We have no idea what you are talking about. However, you seem generally well-enough informed that I want to hear you out.

    Please explain how and why Udin-factions are creating undue divisiveness, and how it is hindering the chair of One Hill from establishing a productive unity.

  7. Bram: I think it's pretty common knowledge that the "ministers group" is more or less in the camp of people from the Hill connected to Udin: Bomani Howze (Sala Udin's son), Marimba Milliones, and ultimately Jake Wheatley. The person calling herself "Dr. Goddess" who has a column in the City Paper is a part of this group as well.

    Their use of the ministers to create a sense of disunity despite the painstaking community process led by One Hill (as described by Carl Redwood) is obvious just by reading the newspapers.

    I admit that my characterization of their motivations is speculative, but it can't be far from the mark: the Udin/Wheatley camp is just naturally suspicious of organizations they do not control, and their maneuvers within the coalition are probably intended to undermine or embarrass Tonya Payne (who has been vocally supportive of a Community Benefits Agreement).

    Thing is, One Hill and the movement for community benefits are not about Tonya Payne, and are bigger than any politician or his/her factional supporters. I'm hoping that this movement succeeds despite the maneuvers of politicians to posture and score points against their opponents -- all of which maneuvers have little to do with actually winning something for the community. So that's my analysis in a nutshell.

  8. 1. Bomani Howze (Sala Udin's son) is the Vice-Chair of One Hill.

    2. The "pain-staking community process led by one Hill", in our educated opinion, is never quite as perfect as advertised. At some point, we are going to have to get after the leadership on topics like bylaws, governing documents, meeting minutes, the defined powers of the executive committee and the defined powers of the membership. Let's leave it at that for now.

    3. I can't argue against your speculations about the motivations of the ministers' group, per se. I can only argue that the operative word in the support Tonya Payne has lent thus far would be VOCAL.

    4. I think the greater Hill District coalition is about two "maneuvers" away from being a winning force.

  9. Bram,

    You have some good points, but Felix has hit somethings right on the nose.

    But my key comment is: who are you? Do you live in the Hill? Why do you feel you need to get after One Hill about anything? Do you know how and why the group formed? Have you been to even one meeting?
    If not, how is it your place to comment on these issues? You can come a perhaps join if you are affliated with the Hill by residence or the location of your business, but otherwise it is complete arrogance for you to say what we need to do.

    Sorry to be mean, but I have to ask, do you think the 'lumpen'and/or the 'darkies' are too stupid to know about by-laws and general organizational structure? The audacity!!

    Just so you know, One Hill started as an ad hoc community group that has structured itself as it sees fit to accomplish its task. It is now moving to become more formal because the need has arisen. The group is not flawless, more unity is needed, but it seems to me you do not have enough information or connection to the issue to give a helpful/valid critique.