Part of the candidate statement by Scott Kohlhaas in the State Election Pamphlet [emphasis added]:
I realize that some of the problems we face in the Mountain View, Russian
Jack and Turpin areas of District 20 seem insurmountable. I don’t
think we can count on any significant solution coming from outside District
He goes on to laud some of the ongoing volunteer work in clean-up and community policing. An interesting statement, and different than the other candidates’ abstracts. But I disagree with his premise because: 1. There’s a lot to be learned by studying how similar problems have been addressed elsewhere, from homelessness to affordable housing to planning, and everything else. Where the solution originated is not important. And, 2. It’s not insurmountable at all. Anchorage’s Fairview neighborhood used to be just as bleak and crime-ridden [more, possibly] and they have in the last five years been ahead of Mt View in bringing back their area’s image and perceived desirability. I would call East St. Louis, parts of Detroit and Chicago seemingly insurmountable, but not Mt View. It has too much going for it.
I’m interested in seeing what happens when pride of ownership and place take hold in a spontaneous, organic way — not as a result of a government or public-private initiative with millions behind it, but just someone up the street buying an old rundown house and paying some attention to it.
Maybe Scott was just feeling a little overwhelmed when he wrote that? Or maybe some goals are more insurmountable than others?
If I were into oddsmaking…
Odds of all property values rising: 1.5 to 1 in favor [but less of a boost than the last five years, a citywide trend]
Odds of a reduction in violent crime: flat [here government intervention would influence the odds]
Odds of the arts and cultural district flourishing: 8 to 1 against [needs a linchpin project such as the Multidisciplinary Arts Center]
Odds of an improved neighborhood business center: 2 to 1 in favor [the presence of new offices and retail space, and impending detour of Glenn Highway traffic]