On Monday July 14, 2014 Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba hosted a roundtable discussion at the Davenport Public Library. The purpose of the meeting was to address the influx of migrant children coming in from Central America into the United States and how a Quad Cities based "Caring Cities" campaign could assist.
The meeting was approximately 50 minutes long. This video has been edited down to 17 minutes.
In attendance and identified on the video are:
Mayor Bill Gluba, City of Davenport
Glenn Leach, Davenport Catholic Diocese
Mike Reyes, League of United Latin American Citizens
Cheryl Goodwin, President Family Resources
Mr. Ortiz, Outreach and Community Enrollment Coordinator for Community Healthcare
Rick Schloemer, Scott County Housing Council
Stephanie Lynch, Doctoral Candidate University of Iowa
Amy Rowell, Director of Moline World Relief
Byron Brown, Retired ARMY, CEO at TGR Solutions
[Note: Not every individual seated at the table is identified by name in the video. We are happy to update this story with any missing participants.]
Over 500 people gathered from Noon to 2pm in downtown Davenport, IA as part of the nationwide protests against excessive government spending and what many perceive as threats to citizens' rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution. This video includes seven interviews with protest attendees including an 11 year old whose sign read, "Even an 11 year old knows Obama is wrong." When asked what Obama was wrong about, the young person replied that taking money from those that work and giving it to those that do not work.
One protester carrying a sign that read "Democrats are spending our grandchildren's future." He is asked what he would say to critics that point out the Republicans spend just as wildly when they were the majority. One protester claims that Obama is a puppet of the Bildeberg Group, Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations, and that Americans who voted for him have been "bamboozled."
Deadline for New Iowa Urban Neighborhood District Designation Brings Focus to the Campus to Campus Plan in Central Davenport
The city's news release stated that the Campus to Campus Plan is an "effort to continue the revitalization of the corridor between St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic."
The news release continued: "Representatives from various businesses and institutions within the area have been invited to begin the process by first defining the project area and sharing initial thoughts about how stronger connections can be created. Invited participants include the anchoring institutions of St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport Schools, [and] businesses and organizations of the Hilltop area. Wider public participation will be sought once the project's parameters are further defined through the input gathered at this initial meeting."
Several dozen people including business owners, city staff, and aldermen met from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at J.B. Young Junior High School Cafeteria, 1702 Main Street in Davenport.
What emerged at the meeting was the city's application for a Main Street Iowa designation as an Urban Neighborhood District Program (UNDP) was due in three weeks, and some decisions on project boundaries needed to be made.
The UNDP provides for technical assistance from the state and funding assistance for a full-time project director for three years. The literature provided at the meeting stated that there could be up to four urban neighborhoods accepted into the program in 2009. The program fully adopts the four-point focus of "The Main Street Approach": Organization, Promotion, Design, and Business Improvement.
A paid program director selected by the community is paid for by the Iowa Main Street program, within the Iowa Downtown Resource Center and administered by the Community Development Division of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
Everyone needs deadlines though, right? And many of these groups have been around for a while; it's time they got coordinated, and this might be the catalyst to make some real progress between three major stakeholders: St. Ambrose, The Hilltop Association, and Palmer College, as well as the several public and private schools within the discussed areas.
The program director would live in the area and help plan and implement the Campus to Campus Plan in conjunction with existing revitalization and beautification entities such as the Edmond Gaines group and the Hilltop Association.
What was at stake were the geographic boundaries of the "Urban Neighborhood." St. Ambrose was the north anchor and Palmer was the southeast anchor, with many schools in between, as well as the Hilltop Association on Harrison Street just north of Central High School.
After breaking everyone up into smaller groups with color-coded maps of the central city, staff were working toward consensus on a geographic area from the stakeholders. The discussion included whether residential neighborhoods were included in these designations. Pam Miner said that it might be necessary to remove residential from these plans, depending on the way the grant is given.
Third Ward Alderman Bill Boom advocated a two-tiered approach, with a contingency for a residential component. The Hilltop Association was identified as a potential source for some matching funding for a full-time project director.
The Main Street application is due April 1. There is a presentation to the state on April 28. Funding announcements will happen between May 18 and 22. The one-sheet issued by the city states that the Next Campus Town Strategy Meeting would be the week of May 25.
Pam Miner, City of Davenport Planning & Economic Development Director "It's not a pot of money they are going to throw at us. It's technical assistance and more resources as far as help. The community is putting in their efforts either in cash or by donating an office space, computer, or telephone. Those kind of things count. The Edmund Gaines project that is already organized to do some lighting -- that can be somehow be creatively put in there as well."
Matt Flynn, City of Davenport Planning Senior Manager "When you have organizations in place, there are a multitude of different programs that look [and ask], 'Well, where is the capacity to move forward?' I think it will give the Hilltop an advantage."
Ron Franz, Hilltop Association and Property Owner "When I sat down, I listened to what was said, and it was strategic gateway and 90,000 vehicles per day. If there's 90,000 vehicles every day over there, I'm going to be excited.
"The next thing I wrote was Urban Main Street designation. To keep focused when I sat down in here, that's what was told to me. So I just want to argue a bit ... we're getting too loud and going to miss our focus if we don't keep to what was told a strategic gateway. I've seen plans for a long time. I'd like to see something happen. A little narrower focus would probably make it happen."
Bruce Berger, Development Senior Manager "Regardless of the grant, I think, if all of you are in favor of these things, this probably needs to happen anyway. It's a lot easier if you have a staff person, and this thing can bring it together. But I think the Hilltop and each organization here has been saying,'Tthis is the kind of thing we need to be doing to get everyone moving forward in a direction.' Our suggestion would be regardless if the money comes through or not, let's keep this momentum going -- keeping the lines of communication going and discussing the improvements and existing ideas and how we can best get them implemented."
Following up on the soon-to-be completed Older Commercial Corridor Revitalization Plan, the City of Davenport is launching an effort to continue the revitalization of the corridor between St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Representatives from various businesses and institutions within the area have been invited to begin the process by first defining the project area and sharing initial thoughts about how stronger connections can be created. Invited participants include the anchoring institutions of St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport Schools, businesses and organizations of the Hilltop area.
The meeting will be held:
Thursday, March 5, 2009 4:00-5:30 p.m. JB Young Junior High School Cafeteria, 1702 Main Street
Wider public participation will be sought once the project's parameters are further defined through the input gathered at this initial meeting.
If you have questions, please contact Matt Flynn; Senior Manager-Planning Division; Community Planning and Economic Development Department; (563) 326-7743.
Jennifer A. Nahra Communications Director 326-6151
The Quad-City Times' management, most especially the disgraced editors, get to evaluate whether their decision to smear local appraiser Mark Nelson was worth what it has cost them -- the last vestige of credibility they had in the community as reliable news providers. In what it tried to pass as a news story in its print edition on Tuesday, March 3, the Times disparaged Nelson with myriad unsubstantiated claims about an alleged cover letter he sent with an appraisal that discouraged Royal Banks of Missouri from approving a loan to Amy and Amrit Gill of Restoration St. Louis for the redevelopment of the Blackhawk Hotel as a boutique hotel.
An open letter to Quad-City Times readers and fellow Lee Enterprises shareholders.
Tory, I read your article with some degree of skepticism this morning. On March 10, Lee Enterprises, the owner of this newspaper, has their annual shareholder meeting; in the past year their stock has tumbled from almost $20 per share to 24 cents at the low. (38 cents as I write this.) I am not only a subscriber but a shareholder. Apparently the newspaper industry and now you have been oblivious to the traction radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has gotten with his "Drive-by Media" characterization. It is sticking no matter how you folks in the media protest. And it is sticking because you allow your personal opinions and the opinions of the editors to creep into your reporting. The only thing you folks have to offer is credibility, and unfortunately your piece in today's "noospaper," as Bill Wundrum frequently refers, does little to lend credibility to this newspaper or you as a reporter.
A. Promise is a scheme to take city taxpayer money from improving Davenport streets, sewers, and other infrastructure and use it to try to attract residents with children to bolster enrollment in Davenport schools.
B. The Upjohn study funded by Promise backers says the likelihood of the plan working as hoped has "a high level of uncertainty." Those are fancy words for "don't hold your breath."
C. The plan contains no commitment by Davenport schools to improve graduation rates and student academic performance, measures currently below neighboring Iowa districts. It divides students within the district between Davenporters who are eligible for scholarship help and those in the district but outside the city who are not eligible. That doesn't sound right.
Summary: A. Unwise, B. Unlikely, C. Unfair.
Vote "No" for the Davenport Promise referendum March 3. Keith Meyer
The Quad-City Times endorses the Promise program in Sunday's edition. "Put Faith in Davenport's Kids" is the editorial's title. One commenter noted that this endorsement was from the "Staff" and not the "Editorial Board," suggesting dissent between the staff and board. The Times' all-percieved-growth-at-any-cost/risk-if-it's-taxpayer-funded record is consistent here. They admonish opponents who spent too much time on spreadsheets. "Astute analysts have poked and prodded Promise to assert it cannot pay for itself. That's a standard we've not applied to other government functions and won't apply to this one." This comment brings into focus the proponents' acceptance that providing for one's college education should be a municipal "government function."
A diverse crowd of protesters gathered at the corner of Brady and Locust streets in central Davenport today, unified in their contempt for last year's bailouts and this year's stimulus bill approved by Congress and signed by Obama last week. (The bill is the H.R.1?American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and can be read at http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1/show. The following story includes a 4 minute video log of interviews at the protest.)
Between 60 and 75 people, in all age brackets from 10 years old and up, gathered with handmade signs signifying their disapproval of the recent legislation that they believe seriously threatens and undermines the country's future. Protesters came from Davenport, Bettendorf, and Buffalo, Iowa, and from as far away as Hampton, Silvis, and Rock Island, Illinois, to participate. The protest signs ranged from "Bailout is Robbery" and "Commander in Thief" to "Teaser Mandates" and "I Love My Country But am Afraid of My Government." Many people stressed that this was the first time they have ever attended such an event.
Between noon and 1pm, many drivers and passengers in cars honked and waved to the cheering crowd who were making their presence known on this sunny, but cold February Iowa. Occasionally, passing cars rolled down their windows screaming "Obama, Obama!" One Davenport Police officer appeared briefly to remind people to stay off of private property and out of the street. Protesters were present on all four corners with the majority on the southwest and south east corners.
Anti-stimulus protest rallies have been popping up nationwide ever since CNBC's Rick Santelli's harsh criticism of congress' out-of-control-spending was heard around the world last week. He unleashed his rant from the Chicago Board of Trade floor, calling for a Chicago Tea Party ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA ) to protest the bailouts in July.
Susan Frazer, a Scott County resident, said she had planned to go to Chicago in July for the Tea Party, but was excited to hear that communities were already organizing their own Tea Parties this weekend, including one in the Quad Cities. Word about the protest was primarily spread via blog postings and email networking. When asked what she would have happen other than the bailouts and stimulus bill, Ms. Frazer said, "I would like a return to the Constitution."
One Rock Island man's sign read, "Braley Hare Out in 2010", referring to Bruce Braley, Iowa's First District congressman and Phil Hare, Illinois' 17th District congressman. "I see several long time democrats I know here. They have had enough too," he observed.
Chris Sweatman recently moved here from South Carolina for a new job and had only been in the Quad Cities for a month. He held a sign that read: "Obama Stimulus Destroys Dollar." "I think the economy has proven that it will rebound on its own, if the government stays out," said Sweatman. He encouraged people to read the book The Forgotten Man as evidence of Roosevelt and Hoover's mistakes and their prolonging of the Depression. "To say that we need to do what Roosevelt did is a big mistake," he warned.
Iowa Senator David Hartsuch, Davenport 5th Ward Alderman Bill Lynn and 2nd Ward Alderman candidate Bill Edmonds were the handful of politicos present amongst a mostly non-partisan protest.
Local artist John Bloom said, "All my so called Liberal artist and musician friends... they think they're all liberal. But they know this is wrong, they're really moderates." Bloom pointed out his friend's sign as a good summation of how he thinks most people feel. It read: "I love my country, but fear my government." "That's true," said Bloom. "I do. Right now, I really do."
One protester stated, "The lean towards socialism is so obvious. To not respond in some way [is wrong]. The irony is at my age, I retire and then do this? I got money, I don't need to be here. There's something wrong. To not see it, to not smell it?"
His friend stated, "I look after my kids and grandkids. I can't see them having this burden on their shoulders. They say no taxes, but you know it's coming. Somebody's got to pay for this. There's no free lunch."
Many people questioned out loud if there was going to be another Tea Party protest and how could they find out when and where. James Getmann and Mike Angelos shared with several attendees that their local group, SuperLiberty.com, meets the first and third Saturday's of each month to educate citizens about the Constitution and encouraged Tea Party protesters to come to the next meeting.
I just wanted to provide an insight from a family that left Davenport because of the schools. I grew up in Bettendorf, moved to Davenport, and after having children moved them to Geneseo, as I refused to put them in the Davenport school system. As a parent, I would not subject my children to 13 years in that school system to earn money for college. Not only is the crime rate in that school system high, but the schools do not adequately prepare the kids for college.
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