From the Editors - An Open Letter to City Council - UPDATE: With Video
An open letter to the Erie City Council.
An Open Letter to City Council
In this issue of the Erie Reader, 40 fantastic individuals under the age of 40 are profiled. These men and women of diverse racial, religious, and political backgrounds are the future of our community. They represent the birth of a new, progressive model of leadership that rejects the old "business as usual" model and embraces this, the dawning of a new era in Erie.
Unfortunately, this era of "business as usual" is not yet over. In fact, not too terribly far from where you now sit at this very moment, that era is alive and thriving.
The lakefront parcel formerly home to the GAF shingle plant sits empty today, simultaneously a symbol of what once was and what will soon be.
That lakefront parcel is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape this community, for better or for worse.
That lakefront parcel is both a literal and metaphorical gateway to the vast potential lying before Erie and this region.
That lakefront parcel is the geographical embodiment of our bright future, just as the 40 under 40 profiled in this issue are the physical embodiment of that future.
However, based upon the shortcomings and narrow visions of yesteryear, we have reason to fear that the proposed development of this important lakefront parcel threatens to lock the people of Erie out of their bright future -- forever.
And with the absence of a much-needed urban planning department in the City of Erie, we continue to stand before this locked door; what lies on the other side is the future, the identity, and the lasting impression that will solidify that bright future.
Wallace Roberts & Todd, the lead consultant for Destination Erie: A Regional Vision, is recognized as one of the best regional planning firms in the world, yet their recommendations may go ignored by a small group of developers, ensconced in their smoky backrooms and intent on foisting their antiquated visions upon the future leaders of this community.
This, paired with an overall lack of collaboration, is the epitome of "business as usual." They are about to lock us out. All of us.
Perhaps the only thing that stands in their way is an intrepid group of elected officials who have the power to stop them from locking us out by demanding intelligent mixed-use development and the incorporation of a pedestrian bridge down to the bayfront.
So, to the Erie City Council, we say:
Don't give up the GAF.
Don't let it become another Niagara Pier.
Don't let them lock us out -- you have the key.
The Editorial Staff of the Erie Reader
David Hunter of Epic Web Studios, accompanied by the editorial staff of the Erie Reader, sends a message to Erie City Council: Don't give up the GAF.
Video shot and edited by Daniel Bauer