Ever heard of “RhodeMap RI”? It’s HUD’s attempt to introduce social equity in Rhode Island. Rhode Island won a $1.9-million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2011. With that grant, the state developed RhodeMap RI. The result is social engineering at its best. The plan calls for residents to live in “growth centers,” densely packed urban centers that are going to be “futuristic, clean, prosperous.” That’s what the plan says. Sounds like another public housing project to me. Can anyone say “Cabrini Green?”
RhodeMap RI is meant to identify “infill and development” areas that are open spaces in wealthy communities that can be filled with housing accessible to everyone. The “goal” is to limit suburbanization by creating self-contained communities that have job sites, transportation, and housing, thus rendering vehicles obsolete. But one has to wonder about the goal after considering what’s in the plan. Is “economic development” really the goal?
From the RhodeMap RI economic development plan:
To help support and guide an equity focus in all we do, RhodeMap RI established a Social Equity Advisory Committee (SEAC). This committee … advises RhodeMap RI on two major topics – designing an inclusive, diverse process and reviewing the development of all goals, strategies and policies to ensure that the impact of RhodeMap RI widens opportunities for all and reduces disparities.
Also in the report is “The Equity Profile” (a report prepared by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity for RhodeMap RI). It offers four reasons why pursing equity is important for the well-being of Rhode Island. The most interesting one is presented below:
To secure America’s prosperity, we must implement a new economic model based on equity, fairness, and opportunity.
The report also includes this:
The State of Rhode Island, Department of Statewide Planning as the lead agency implementing RhodeMap RI and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national agency that has provided funding for RhodeMap, expects that all aspects of equity will be a component of RhodeMap RI plans. Each RhodeMap RI committee is responsible for keeping equity in the forefront and weaving equity into all plans and work products/documents.
An essential goal of the RhodeMap RI process was to address social equity, particularly looking at systems, programs and ideas that have the effect of marginalizing certain groups of people.
The plan even attacks the 10th amendment to the US Constitution:
To implement this plan, barriers between and among federal and state programs must be dismantled to help ensure they respond to the needs of the communities.
Critics of RhodeMap RI say it’s social engineering, and that it will destroy local land-use planning. Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity founder Mike Stenhouse says:
It’s a socialist vs. capitalist thing; it’s not a liberal vs. conservative thing. People have been fighting this all over the country. But once Rhode Island is the first entire state to pass this plan, the federal government will seize control.
Stenhouse does have recent history on his side: Fearless Leader Barack Hussein Obama IS a socialist.
Rhode Island state representative Patricia Morgan, R-Coventry, said:
The American dream is about working hard and taking what you have earned and spending it the way you want to spend it. It shouldn’t be government saying, ‘These folks want to live there and they can’t afford it and we are going to force you.’
Do we want them to come in and say, ‘There is a nice piece of land, we are going to take it by eminent domain and put affordable housing there?’
And Michael G. Riley, vice chair at Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, said:
Reading through HUD Sustainable development plans and the various agendas of Grow Smart RI, RhodeMap RI and other like minded promoters of “social equity” it becomes more and more apparent that there is little or no thought given to improving economic development.
… this document is lengthy and I found the scope of the plan frightening as it augurs for a huge increase in governmental intrusion in to our lives. The plan regularly postulates without supporting facts, it suggests experimentation, and proposes implementation without once even addressing the current economics.
… the report suggests the same people, with increased government intrusion, will somehow improve horrible mismanagement of our tax dollars thus far. It is unfathomable that this ridiculous RhodeMap RI plan implemented by the same people in office now will be suddenly successful. The authors suggest little or no reduction in current Government, in fact they propose to add to the current failure of our local government by sharing power with the federal Government and thus increasing the fines, penalties and resulting exposure to eminent domain that is very much part of this plan.
What “social equity” has to do with economic development planning is beyond me. But this report says that it is the only way to achieve it. The RhodeMap RI report authors say that Rhode Island cannot succeed without this plan I guess the people who developed the report never heard of WORK.
If there was ever a “1984” scheme, this is it. And it’s financed with TAX money!
By the way, RhodeMap RI was developed under Lincoln Chaffee (D), who has been replaced by Gina Raimondo (D). Rhode Island is probably the most heavily Democrat state in the US.
Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer