The Cedar Rapids City Council committed $500,000 from hotel/motel tax to an event that lost $2.3 million. No doubt the council funds event sponsor GO Cedar Rapids in other ways as well. The board of GO Cedar Rapids fired its chief executive after learning of the loss from newbo evolve.
The cost of attending the newbo evolve events far exceeded what most middle- and working-class families could afford. One might call this an elitist event.
At the same time, the council is punting on supporting a request from the Linn County Board of Supervisors to match $100,000 of city funds to county funds in order to address poverty and violence in our community.
The volunteers on the Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Task Force worked for three years to study and come up with recommendations on ways to most effectively address these pressing issues.
Recent violence brought into Cedar Valley Apartments is another incident exemplifying the need to address issues of racism and poverty.
Why is it that the council is willing to allocate funds for an expensive elitist event but not for efforts to address the poverty and racism that breeds violence in our town? My hope is that council members would re-evaluate their priorities and think about why they choose to fund what they do and what they don’t.