The Green Mouse asks many questions, and regular readers know that not all these questions are answered.
For more than two years, Bob Caesar and the city of New Albany have combined to stonewall every effort we've made to explore Bicentennial Commission finances.
The history of our public records requests from City Hall is one of futility; the legal department merely giggles amid blatant subterfuge, partial answers and related diversions.
Adam Dickey's disney-fried Democratic Party has blocked us from social media communications channels. All the while the Southern Indiana-based chain newspaper looks the other way, and the one in Louisville seldom looks this direction at all.
Tomorrow morning, I'll be visiting the weekly Board of Public Works and Safety meeting in an effort to learn more about this: UPDATE: BOW suggests it wasn't informed about councilman Dan Coffey's Harvest Homecoming parking profits at 32 Bank Street.
Will anything come of it? Probably not, but the topic will be forever recorded in meeting minutes. That's reason enough for making the effort. There may be nothing we can do about the Gahan regime's default non-transparency short of the ballot box in 2019, and yet I'm leaving plenty of post-it notes along the way.
Now to the point at hand.
In the weeks following Develop New Albany's first-ever Taco Walk in August (see links below), I made several efforts to contact DNA. This one was sent in late August.
Below I’ve pasted the text from two separate e-mails to Develop New Albany’s web site contact address (email@example.com), from August 15 and August 18, one direct and the other a CC. Since I’ve heard nothing back, and I’m sure DNA’s staff person wouldn’t ignore them, I’m assuming they were swallowed by a spam filter, hence my decision to direct this note to all board members (as listed on the web site).
To date, I haven't received a reply to any of these three separate queries. However, I think the message was received, because at some point in late September or early October, the e-mail addresses of DNA board members were scrubbed from the web site.
How very Gahanesque, hence this public notice of intent.
The Green Mouse has learned that within the last two weeks, there was a board meeting at which DNA's higher-ups confirmed the organization's "ownership" of the Taco Walk -- something I'm actually pleased to learn, because by doing so DNA concedes to responsibility for the good as well as the bad.
Irrespective of how the idea for Taco Walk first came to the organization (hint: from a outsider who didn't know what she was getting into), and with no further references to those outrageous instances of sombrero-laden cultural appropriation reported afterward in this space, the event now "belongs" to DNA.
Consequently, I intend to write about Taco Walk, and I've decided to extend yet another opportunity for DNA to be part of the conversation. The following was e-mailed this morning.
I trust you recall previous e-mails on the topic of the Taco Walk. I’m preparing a column on the topic of the legacy of this event; specifically, I’m interested in the source of the idea for the Taco Walk, which I believe is Kelly Winslow, and the outcome of the recent Develop New Albany board meeting at which she was informed that her idea no longer belonged to her, but in fact had been appropriated by DNA.
I’d also like to request a discussion about the as-yet unaddressed cultural appropriation outcome from Taco Walk, i.e., the sombreros, maracas, Frito Bandito songs and other aspects of stereotyping that plainly should not have been allowed in a multi-cultural setting.
Note that I have not spoken with Kelly about any of this. At the time of the Taco Walk’s aftermath, she told me there was nothing to say pending a debriefing with DNA; now that there apparently has been such a follow-up, she’s not interested in pursuing it any further.
However, there is no shortage of other people who are prepared to speak with me, and from their testimony I can adequately reconstruct the narrative.
A reminder that just after the event (links below), I sent at least two questions to the DNA contact address. These were neither acknowledged nor answered. Please be aware that for so long as DNA receives a single dollar of monetary support from the city (by the way, how much is the annual level these days?), the organization is obliged to treat with taxpayers, of whom I’m one. I’m also a former DNA board member (circa 2007-2010).
I’ll publish with or without DNA’s participation. I’d appreciate being able to hear the organization’s side. Please let me know when we can chat.
The note was sent to the DNA contact address; the organization's president Teresa Baxter; and city council liaison David Barksdale.
It's ridiculous that I'm compelled to courtesy-copy the universe after being ignored on three previous occasions. Unfortunately, this is the recurring pattern of the current cadre of movers and shakers, who prefer the camouflage of the down low to cleansing rays of sunshine.
Granted, there may not be anything I can do about it, but this shouldn't be taken to imply that I'll stop trying any time soon.
TACO WALK LINKS
Who'd have guessed? William Anthony Nericcio's "aggressive, relentless, and, at times, pathological interrogation of Mexican, Latina/o, Chicana/o, "Hispanic," Mexican-American, and Latin American stereotypes."
Taco Walk teaching tools: Time for DNA to stand up, step forward and begin learning AND teaching about cultural appropriation.
Whether DNA gets a penny, $5,000 or $100,000 from City Hall, it is obliged to be transparent about its activities and expenditures.
Meat Loaf Is the Answer, Part 3: A brief postscript to yesterday's Taco, Broccoli and Lutefisk Walk reference.