Upset Over ADU’s, Local Woman Pledges To Withhold Charity To Missoula Non-Profits
The rhetoric on both sides of the hot-button Additional Dwelling Unit issue makes it very difficult to discern what the potential positive/negative impacts might actually be.
Will ADU’s provide much needed affordable housing, or will they destroy single family neighborhoods? Will they hurt property values? Will they be a boon for developers and real-estate agents? And what about Grandma? Will ADU’s keep Grandma from being stashed away in a nursing home before she’s ready?
I have previously framed this issue as being infill versus sprawl, but I’m not sure if that’s as accurate as it was a few years ago. I’ve also become much more cynical about how the term “affordable housing” is used in Missoula, so I’m much more dubious about whether ADU’s will have the significant impact on the need for affordable housing proponents say they will.
That said, the ADU WILL DESTROY OUR NEIGHBORHOOD! folks have reached a new low, IMO, with this comment from Carole Ulrigg, posted on Bob Jaffe’s listserve yesterday:
The council has no intention of listening to what the majority of Missoula residents that live in the areas that will change want. We worked hard to live in a single family neighborhood.
One only needs to listen to the police scanner to see what increased density does to a neighborhood.
We have made the decision that if the ADU thing passes, that we will no longer donate to ANY organization in Missoula. We presently donate several thousand dollars a year in money and in services to this community. We are also encouraging our friends, neighbors and acquaintances to do the same. Some have already agreed to join us in this protest.
My experience in working with non-profit organizations in Missoula is that the vast majority of the donations come from these neighborhoods that the City Council, pushed by Mayor Engen, is trying to destroy. These citizens worked hard to live were they live and were only to happy to share. To destroy our dreams and to say our years of work were for nothing is nothing more than a slap in the face.
So, because Carol feels slapped in the face by the Mayor and City Council, she wants to lash out at Missoula non-profits as a “protest”. Um, wow. All I can say is, if Carol wants some suggestions on where she can reallocate her money, I can think of a few places she can stick it.
Thankfully, another community member who comments on Jaffe’s listserve responded in a much more charitable way than I’m inclined to respond, so I’ll conclude this post with her great response (thanks Debby):
To those who are now saying they will withdraw support of non-profits because the ADU issue is not going their way:
I totally think it is up to you to do what you want with your money, and to make politically based decisions with it– but please reconsider your call to punish non-profits for things they may not even be voting on nor support. In general, many 501c3 non-profits are not allowed to advocate on particular political issues or lobby votes, so they usually strive to remain politically neutral.
Charity is not bribery. Charity is not a vote, or a way to buy votes. Maybe you hadn’t realized your protest would come across this way– but this might be a perfect moment for all of us to rent “A Christmas Carol.”
If you support non-profits who are helping improve the lives of our fellow citizens, then I hope you are doing so out of the goodness of your heart, not to buy the nonprofit, its board members, or to sway people on issues. I think you have a right to protest, but this seems like a displaced way to do so. A campaign to boycott nonprofits only hurts the less advantaged among us who can’t even afford ADUs much less their own home.
I urge you to please re-examine that perspective before you decide to act on it.