Something else you can do about the “existential threat” in South Bethlehem

(Latest post on such topics as Neighborhoods, Southside, Affordable Housing)

Remember, Gadfly urges you — wherever you live in the City — to email Seth Moglen ( as an act of solidarity and to get your name on the mailing list of Bethlehem Residents for Responsible Development. But there’s something else you can do too — see below.

In his post about the Mayor’s teachable moment, Gadfly wrote:

“Hoping to not sound overly dramatic, Gadfly is starting to sense somewhat of a ‘crisis’ in regard to affordable housing on the Southside.”

Then, without literally using the dreaded “c” word, b’damn’d if Seth Moglen doesn’t put a solid foundation under Gadfly’s vague sensation in describing the state of his Southside neighborhood:

“Our neighborhood now faces an existential threat.”

An existential threat is a crisis.  A crisis is an existential threat.

Gadfly’s attention to this crisis/existential threat was triggered by the May 22 South Bethlehem Historical Society letter to the Mayor and Council and then the failure of the Planning Commission to actively respond to the concerns of residents of First Terrace.

The Mayor took action on the First Terrace situation — good — but Gadfly found the Mayor’s response to SBHS tepid, formulaic.

The Mayor’s letter didn’t match the emotional sense of urgency in the SBHS letter.

There was no recognition of crisis or threat in his words.

The message in the Mayor’s letter was that headquarters had everything under control. Don’t worry. Leave it to us. The situation is in good hands. Trust.

That’s not the way some residents were feeling, however.

And hence the Bethlehem Residents for Responsible Development forms.

As natural a consequence in a town with conscientious citizens as a chemical process.

It had to happen. Political action. Resident pressure.

Gadfly hopes that those of you who haven’t emailed Seth Moglen ( to register your support and get on the BRRD mailing list will do so like right away. It’s so easy to do. And if you forget Seth’s address, it’s on the Gadfly sidebar.

Do it. No matter where you live. This is not just for Southsiders.

As Dana said in response to a post by Kim Carrell-Smith recently: “[Irresponsible development] can happen in any corner of and neighborhood in the city.”

But there is something else you can do.

In that post, Kim gives us the clue. Kim gives us the cue.

Write to the Mayor and City Council.  Contact info can be found on the Gadfly sidebar.

And all you have to do is use Kim’s words:

“We all need you to support viable neighborhoods on the Southside, NOW.”



Political action.

Resident pressure.

Gadfly urges you.

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