Friday, January 13, 2012

Mike Martinez: King of the Gentrifiers

High atop a hill in the middle of the Austin,Texas varrio sits the first castle built in the 21st century.
Austin City Councilman's Man, Mike Martinez is building a 2.5 million dollar mansion in what he hopes will be one of the Latino districts in Austin's near future switch to district specific voting. Martinez currently lives in a less opulent home built for him by his campaign benefactors in the future Black district.
The new home has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms and two garages, one for cars and one for boats. It towers over his neighbors' modest homes except for a hideous, salmon gentrybox directly across from his boat garage.
Mike Martinez was elected by the working class neighbors who now cower in the shadow of his new castle. He had put himself out there as a working class fire-fighter, sympathetic to people and democracy. Now he's a millionaire bent on the gentrification of all of East Austin and has turned his back on the very people who installed him in more hopeful days, voting against them on the Capital Metro Board of directors and the Austin City Council. He quadrupled bus fares, gave a quarter billion to Domain developers and supported the slaying of Nat Sanders.
The question now is how will we who created this monster be able slay him in the next, last May election?