Christian MilNeil’s personal, class-warfare attack on members of Save the Soul of Portland in his Oct. 14 Maine Voices was mean-spirited and replete with errors. His bizarre conspiracy theory is not grounded in facts and demonstrates incivility that demeans the democratic process.

MilNeil labeled the principals as privileged “wealthy gentrifiers.” In fact, they all work full-time in, or are retired from, small business, teaching or social services. They’ve lived in the neighborhood an average of 33 years, and have given decades of public service to the neighborhood, city and state.

MilNeil asserts that Soul of Portland members are “anti-housing.” He ignores the fact that the referendum has nothing to do with housing, and that it was the current developer who refused to agree to include any affordable housing at the time the zone change was granted.

MilNeil ignores the likelihood that this development will create gentrification on a massive scale. Despite his connection with the Portland Housing Authority, MilNeil has fallen for the trickle-down theory that the construction of million-dollar condos will help relieve the housing crunch.

This has been debunked by many, including the 2015 Greater Portland Council of Governments report on workforce housing. It concludes: “At first glance, the construction of luxury housing in any downtown would be considered a boon, not a burden. In the long run, however, neighboring property owners will follow suit, running up sales prices and rents unsustained by real growth in wages, incomes, jobs, or property improvements.”

Question 2 has nothing to do with housing. Save the Soul of Portland is urging a “yes” vote on Question 2 to: 1) protect valuable scenic views; 2) return transparency to the rezoning process; and 3) require developers to reveal basic information to the public, like road access and building heights of the development, before the city can approve a rezoning application.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.