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The Mayor and the Small Landowner
A Parable about Inclusionary housing in Pasadena...
[Wayne Lusvardi] 3/20/06

Original Version: The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

Guest Contributor
Wayne Lusvardi

Wayne Lusvardi worked for 20 years for the Metro Water District of So. Cal. and lives in Pasadena. The views expressed are his own. . Wayne receives e-mail at waynelbox-blogger@yahoo.com

“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler, who had come to him. Instead he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such and thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king over Israel… gave your master’s house to you... I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” II Samuel 12, Hebrew Bible

Modern Version: God sent his prophet Nate to the powerful Mayor of the City of Pasadena named Bill and told him the following story: There were two men in a certain town, one rich and politically powerful and the other a relatively powerless and not rich Small Landowner. The rich and powerful mayor had the authority vested in his position to tax or take the property of others. But the Small Landowner had nothing much but one little parcel of land he had bought and paid taxes on for decades smack dab in the middle of the rich city. He rescued the 100-year old house on the land and wanted to pass ownership to his children. So his property became like one of his children.

Now a migrant traveler named Jose came to the powerful mayor of the city whose group the mayor and his City Councilman Gordy wanted to court political favor from. And the traveler and his group squatted on land belonging to other politically-favored groups who demanded it be replaced. But the mayor refrained from replacing it; neither did he assess a tax on all the citizens to provide housing to the traveler. Instead the mayor took half the land that belonged to the Small Landowner and prepared it for the traveler who had come to him as a form of political patronage.

Then Mayor Bill burned with anger upon hearing the story and said to Nate "As surely as God lives, the man who did this deserves to pay! He must pay for that property four times over because he did such a thing and has no pity. Who did this?"

Then Nate replied to Mayor Bill, "Why, you are the man!" And then God said: "I anointed you mayor over Pasadena. I gave your master's house to you and I gave the house of Izzy and Jud. Why did you despise the word of God by doing what is evil in his eyes by stealing half of the Small Landowner's property to give to a traveler for political patronage and then cover it up by calling it "inclusionary housing"? (see Pasadena Star News.com). And then why did you go to the City-sponsored "affordable housing summit" at the Pasadena Nazarene Church and seek religious sanction for your actions by hypocritically saying that what you were doing was helping the poor and the homeless? CRO

Also see: Inclusionary Housing is a Pea-Shell Game

copyright 2006 Wayne Lusvardi




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