Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Boise Occupies CCDC, Disrupts Meeting

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Members of the Occupy Boise movement decided to occupy today's meeting of the Capital City Development Corporation. A meeting that usually attracts a handful of people became standing room only this afternoon when the Occupiers filled the fifth-floor conference room of the CCDC.

As the meeting convened, CCDC chairman John May acknowledged the group's presence and invited a representative to speak.

"We usually don't allow this, but I think we'll give you a 5-minute opportunity to represent your concerns," said May.

Keesha Renna speaks for Occupy Boise at CCDC

Keesha Renna stood up from the audience and said, while she wasn't an official spokesperson for the Occupiers, she had a list of questions she wanted answered.

"Well, this isn't really a question-and-answer session," responded May.

But Renna proceeded to ask a series of queries concerning the Eighth and Main project, which CCDC has committed up to $4 million toward the construction.

CCDC's legal counsel, Ryan Armbuster, told the Occupiers that the documents had already been signed at a previous meeting.

With that, Renna turned toward the audience and said in a loud voice, "Can I get a mic check?"

"Mic check!" about a dozen Occupiers shouted.

"What other uses were considered for the $4 million?" said Renna, again loudly.

"What other uses were considered for the $4 million?" the small crowd repeated.

By this time, CCDC commissioners were perplexed.

"The contracts have already been executed," said May. "I'm going to move to close this part of the meeting and move on."

"Mic check!" shouted Renna

"Mic check!" the crowd repeated.

"What community benefits would result from this project?" asked Renna and the crowd, once more, repeated in unison.

The "mic check" exercise continued for the better part of the next 15 minutes, interrupting the meeting as it progressed.

Ironically, one of the first items to be considered at the CCDC was the unveiling of a proposal to bring significant community benefits through a planned redevelopment of the old Macy's building into affordable housing (see our previous Citydesk story), but by then, the Occupiers either weren't paying attention to the meeting or had left.

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