Wednesday, September 20, 2006

what does 'progressive' mean?

"We need progressives with a capital ‘P’ — aggressive progressives, kick-ass progressives" - Takoma Park resident Scott Denman (on Jamie Raskin's win; read story)

"I used the word ‘slow’ purposely; not ‘managed’ or ‘smart.’ I said, ‘If you vote for me, this is what it means.’ And looking at [the results], voters seemed concerned about growth and development and voted that way . . . a strong progressive wing of the council has emerged." - County Executive-Elect Ike Leggett

Dictionary.com says that progressive means "making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc." I'm at a loss here: how is "slow growth" a) progress; b) enlightened; or c)experimental? This sounds more like a cop-out to the inescapable pressures of population and economic growth.

Does Montgomery County understand what they've voted for? The Gazette says they've "sent a message" about growth. Joel Hirschhorn, Chevy Chase resident and author of Sprawl Kills: How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health And Money, wrote in to say how proud he was of Montgomery County residents for rejecting a so-called "sprawl politics."

Well, I'll tell you this, Joel Hirschhorn: Montgomery County voters won't be getting any healthier driving around a community that is turning its back on the "smart growth" policies that have given us places like Downtown Silver Spring or Bethesda. So much for being progressive.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Slowing growth here is progressive for a number of reasons, not the least of which it puts government back in the peoples' hands. A government who's decisions were made based on the preferences of its corporate backers is not progressive, regardless of who those corporate backers are. I think when we talk about progressive in this case, we're talking less about the specific issue (growth) and more about the broader concept of government of the people by the people, and yada yada yada.
Don't make the mistake of conflating building with progress. Sometimes preserving is progress. Sometimes saving is progress. Montgomery County is just about built out, so what's so wrong about saying we ought to slow down to catch up?

Silver Springer said...

No, you’re simply playing into a specific demographic. When you say the “the people want slow growth” who exactly are you talking about? Certainly not I. I live in Montgomery County as well so how are my views addressed?

Not everybody believes in you’re “slow growth” propaganda and the people in favor of smart growth are speaking louder so get used to it. I like what has happened to downtown Silver Spring. Discovery, the town center, United Therapeutics, and some other worthy projects, this is close to development at its best. All this would never have happened with your “slow growth” mantra and Silver Spring would still be a forgotten and abandoned downtown. That negative aspect has more far reaching effects on the entire county than what you’re complaining about. As you can see from those examples not all corporations and developers are bad, they built your house didn’t they?

When will you get your priorities straight?

FuturePurpleRider said...

Current county policies give a privileged voice in land-use decision-making to civic associations, many of whose by-laws forbid tenants to join.

The county also has a policy of notifying property owners, but not tenants, about proposed projects.

Wouldn't true progressives insist that tenants get equal notice with homeowners, and oppose allowing associations that deny equal voting rights to all residents to represent neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...

One of the most frustrating things about this election has been the co-option of the word "progressive" to embrace some of the most reactionary forces in the politics of this relatively liberal, affluent county. One example is the "New MoCo Progressive" blog which glorifies Robin Ficker. Another is the odd coalition of anti-corporate leftists with reactionary rich homeowners who oppose affordable housing in their neighborhoods. Marc Elrich is the beneficiary of this cobbled-together coalition and deserves credit for many years of effort to stitch together a campaign including right-wing Republican leaders of the Civic Federation with left-wing kooks from Takoma Park. This year, his effort finally paid off. But don't call that progressive.

Rfustero said...

I don't believe the Development of Silver Spring , and the development of Bethesda are the same --Bethesda appears to have more corporate dvelopment , Silver Spring's development seems to have more minimum wage retail establishments.

The people who work in Bethesda can afford to live in Bethesda, a large number of people who work in downtown Silver Sprig, can not afford to live there.
Is this Smart Growth?

Silver Spring needs to attract more high scale corporations- similar to Tysons Corner, or 18th St.NW, in D.C. and like Bethesda.

The devlopment of Wheaton is the next big project- but I do not want to see a bunch of loud night clubs, and more restaurants, and streets crowded with drunks- How about providing for some hi-tech companies to come to Wheaton, maybe some research facilities etc.

That would be Smart Growth.

Anonymous said...

Silver Springer:

Come on. How long have you lived here? You either don't know or have forgotten the history here.

If the Duncan/Silverman "smart growth" (as you put it) folks had had their way, Silver Spring would have a gigantic mall with a wave pool in it. The current arrangement was less a planned thing than a panicked reaction to the meltdown of the American Dream mall. At the time, many pro-growth people thought the plan stunk, because it didn't have enough "scale." Local Silver Spring activists, however, embraced it from the beginning -- the only opposition that I recall was to the destruction of the Silver Spring Armory building, which was needless and avoidable, IMHO.

And another thing -- you ask "how are your views addressed?" Well, for those of us who opposed the End Gridlock team four years ago, who spoke for us over the past four years? Where was the concern then?

The answer is there wasn't any concern. Duncan felt he had a mandate, and he tried to ride it to Annapolis. The sizeable minority who opposed the EG team was shut out because "the votes had spoken."

Well, now the votes say something else. They say, whoa, slow down, let's be more balanced with growth. That was the pretty decisive outcome of September 12. So deal with it.

thecourtyard said...

I don't think enough people turn out in primary elections, even in Montgomery County, to say that anything resulting from them is a "mandate from the people." I don't even think that we're going to see anything out of our County government but (haha) gridlock over the next four years.

And I don't think a lot of County residents are so worried about a new shopping center or housing development so long as they can get through the stoplight in one cycle. The NIMBY contingent is a minority, and one that is easily riled up . . . but that's just my opinion and, apparently, my mandate must not have counted last Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Slowing growth here is progressive for a number of reasons, not the least of which it puts government back in the peoples' hands. A government who's decisions were made based on the preferences of its corporate backers is not progressive, regardless of who those corporate backers are. I think when we talk about progressive in this case, we're talking less about the specific issue (growth) and more about the broader concept of government of the people by the people, and yada yada yada.
Don't make the mistake of conflating building with progress. Sometimes preserving is progress. Sometimes saving is progress. Montgomery County is just about built out, so what's so wrong about saying we ought to slow down to catch up?

RE: Your problem and the new selected democrat lawmakers in Montgomery County's problem is that yoiu folx don't want Montgomery County(along with other areas in the MD/DC suburbs) to compete with the Massive economic and Business growth in Northern Virginia.

It will just tear you people up to shreds to have Montgomery County have a higher Employment Growth rate, Upscale Development, Improved Highways and transportation system then Northern Virginia.

If ya ask me I question you and the newly selected Montgomery County Lawmakers loyalty of being true Marylanders.

Anonymous said...

Silver Springer said...
No, you’re simply playing into a specific demographic. When you say the “the people want slow growth” who exactly are you talking about? Certainly not I. I live in Montgomery County as well so how are my views addressed?

Not everybody believes in you’re “slow growth” propaganda and the people in favor of smart growth are speaking louder so get used to it. I like what has happened to downtown Silver Spring. Discovery, the town center, United Therapeutics, and some other worthy projects, this is close to development at its best. All this would never have happened with your “slow growth” mantra and Silver Spring would still be a forgotten and abandoned downtown. That negative aspect has more far reaching effects on the entire county than what you’re complaining about. As you can see from those examples not all corporations and developers are bad, they built your house didn’t they?

When will you get your priorities straight?

RE: Has this recent selection of new anti-Maryland/Progressive Democrat Lawmakers in Montgomery County made you furious enough to support their Republican opponents this November???????

Anonymous said...

Rfustero said...
I don't believe the Development of Silver Spring , and the development of Bethesda are the same --Bethesda appears to have more corporate dvelopment , Silver Spring's development seems to have more minimum wage retail establishments.

The people who work in Bethesda can afford to live in Bethesda, a large number of people who work in downtown Silver Sprig, can not afford to live there.
Is this Smart Growth?

Silver Spring needs to attract more high scale corporations- similar to Tysons Corner, or 18th St.NW, in D.C. and like Bethesda.

The devlopment of Wheaton is the next big project- but I do not want to see a bunch of loud night clubs, and more restaurants, and streets crowded with drunks- How about providing for some hi-tech companies to come to Wheaton, maybe some research facilities etc.

That would be Smart Growth.

RE: I agree with everything you stated except for the Night Club Part. Connecticut Avenue, U street, 14th Street, 7th/9th Street, and New York Avenue have Nightclub/Lounges and there are little to no complaints. Now the hole in the wall clubs are a different story.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Silver Springer:

Come on. How long have you lived here? You either don't know or have forgotten the history here.

If the Duncan/Silverman "smart growth" (as you put it) folks had had their way, Silver Spring would have a gigantic mall with a wave pool in it. The current arrangement was less a planned thing than a panicked reaction to the meltdown of the American Dream mall. At the time, many pro-growth people thought the plan stunk, because it didn't have enough "scale." Local Silver Spring activists, however, embraced it from the beginning -- the only opposition that I recall was to the destruction of the Silver Spring Armory building, which was needless and avoidable, IMHO.

And another thing -- you ask "how are your views addressed?" Well, for those of us who opposed the End Gridlock team four years ago, who spoke for us over the past four years? Where was the concern then?

The answer is there wasn't any concern. Duncan felt he had a mandate, and he tried to ride it to Annapolis. The sizeable minority who opposed the EG team was shut out because "the votes had spoken."

Well, now the votes say something else. They say, whoa, slow down, let's be more balanced with growth. That was the pretty decisive outcome of September 12. So deal with it.


RE: WTH are you talking about.

How can you talk about slowing down growth, when over 50% of Montgomery County Resident's have to commute to work outside of the state of Maryland because there is barely any high tech job growth in Montgomery County let alone PG County. Retail options are at a minimum which explains why most Montgomery County Resident's(along with PG County Resindent's) go to DC and Northern Virginia to shop.

Its one thing to be against housing growth since Montgomery County's population will be over 1 million people(with the help of your people's support of illegal immigrants flooding the county) but it is another thing to be against Upscale Retail and High Tech Growth due to the fact that it is lacking in Montgomery County unlike Northern Virginia.

Sligo said...

Anonymous Said:

"RE: I agree with everything you stated except for the Night Club Part. Connecticut Avenue, U street, 14th Street, 7th/9th Street, and New York Avenue have Nightclub/Lounges and there are little to no complaints. Now the hole in the wall clubs are a different story."

You didn't include 18th street in there, but I can certainly say that there are complaints from people that live in that neighborhood about the noise and crowds that go with the bars there. What gets me, though, are the people that move in across the street from the bars then complain about the noice.

Not to mention the assaults & murders. Someone got shot on U street over a parking spot.

thecourtyard said...

I would just like to point out that Anonymous 2:48 - 3:14 are all written by the same person. Just to make this thread that much easier to read =)

Silver Springer said...

Anonymous said...
Silver Springer:

Come on. How long have you lived here? You either don't know or have forgotten the history here.

If the Duncan/Silverman "smart growth" (as you put it) folks had had their way, Silver Spring would have a gigantic mall with a wave pool in it. The current arrangement was less a planned thing than a panicked reaction to the meltdown of the American Dream mall. At the time, many pro-growth people thought the plan stunk, because it didn't have enough "scale." Local Silver Spring activists, however, embraced it from the beginning -- the only opposition that I recall was to the destruction of the Silver Spring Armory building, which was needless and avoidable, IMHO.

And another thing -- you ask "how are your views addressed?" Well, for those of us who opposed the End Gridlock team four years ago, who spoke for us over the past four years? Where was the concern then?

The answer is there wasn't any concern. Duncan felt he had a mandate, and he tried to ride it to Annapolis. The sizeable minority who opposed the EG team was shut out because "the votes had spoken."

Well, now the votes say something else. They say, whoa, slow down, let's be more balanced with growth. That was the pretty decisive outcome of September 12. So deal with it.

RE: This is the problem with “slow growth” advocates, they can’t see past their own backyards.

If you had it your way we would not see any development at all. At best you would have called for low density 2 story shops so not to “overwhelm the community” and give that “small town feel”. Even though they are already right next door to 238 foot office buildings in the largest urban CBD in the state outside Baltimore, not to mention right next door to what is considered the most powerful major city in the world. That would be an inefficient use of space in such a transit oriented zone and just as well a sponsorship of sprawl because what you can’t build up you will have to spread out.

Furthermore we have not grown nearly as much as you think, thanks to the NIMBY's who bring a bad business climate. Open your eyes and look around!

Only because the community in Silver Spring was so desperate for development (they got a taste of what “slow growth” brings) did we get the projects witht the height and density that we have today and even still Discovery’s building was reduced in height for no good reason. Space that could have been used for new departments like their education and telecommunication subsidiaries are now in the Dulles corridor of VA and Bethesda because they are at capacity in their headquarters. That is jobs lost. This is all due to the NIMBYism of the slow growth advocates.

The individual projects and mix of uses make for the greater whole. The American Dream mall was too retail centric. Even so the town center project is somewhat similar to the American Dream mall plan, they just didn’t take over the Silver Triangle site and fortunately it is not enclosed. Another key difference is a more balance between, office, residential and retail.

I ask again, how do you plan to implement your "slow growth" policy without hurting the County's economy?

Anonymous said...

Some people who fashion themselves as "progressive" believe that:

1. Corporations are evil
2. Developers are corporations
3. Therefore developers are evil.

Well-intentioned but misguided, is all I can say.

NIMBYism is amoral. Just read the NeighborsPAC manifesto "WHERE ARE THE BRAKES," chronicled on Just up the Pike.

There is nothing progressive about it.

The notion that somehow the county government is "back in the people's hands," while providing a more persuasive rationale, is dubious. Its now in the hands of a narrow grab-bag of NIMBY's and community activists while the wider community, which generally supports new housing and projects like the Purple Line, will not have the consideration that is due.

Progressivism means standing up for the common good. The NIMBY coalition is antithetical to progressivism.

Progressivism is about embracing change and embracing the future. In Montgomery County, that means embracing population growth and finding the progressive solution to the challenge.

The notion that we can slow down to catch up is silly. The people who advocate this line will NEVER agree that we have "caught up." Its a seductive argument and it is a trap for the County.