(My comment in a Sep/Oct 2013 ToledoTalk.com thread.)
Surprisingly, or maybe not, anti-foreign thinking is too prevalent in Toledo, Ohio, especially since we're now in the second decade of the 21st century.
Mayoral candidate Anita Lopez played the xenophobic card hard ahead of the September 2013 primary. She did not finish among the top-two, most likely because she and another democrat split the vote, leaving the so-called independents to finish one and two.
Incumbent mayor Mike Bell and challenger Mike Collins are the two independents running for mayor in November 2013.
Lopez's xenophobic attitude was embarrassing, but the stunning part was the number of Toledoans who agreed with her.
Lopez attacked current mayor Mike Bell because the city sold most of the Marina District land to Chinese investors in 2011 and/or 2012. The same or different Chinese investors also purchased other land and businesses in downtown Toledo over the past couple years.
As to the Marina District land, it had been for sale since 2000 before the Chinese bought it. Lopez complained about Bell selling out to foreigners, but nobody stopped local people from buying that land in the previous 10-plus years.
And now the Chinese are paying taxes on that land. Obviously, prior to the sale, the city received no tax revenue from that land.
Lopez and other local political dimwits complained about the lack of development on the Marina District land after the Chinese bought it.
The Asians are known for taking their time, a long-term view, on development and business, so they are not rushing to building something on that land. It could be a few more years or longer before development occurs.
But that land sat unused, undeveloped, and un-taxed for over 10 years.
Ahead of the November 2013 mayoral general election, Collins or some group supporting Collins has also played the xenophobic card by attacking Bell, regarding the Marina District land and the Chinese.
Embarrassing. The adds and flyers could be offensive to Chinese residents.
Toledo won't be taken seriously until it drops its anti-foreign thinking. It's not progressive. It's parochial, infantile, archaic, and knuckle-dragging.
The Marina District land resides along the east side of the Maumee River in downtown Toledo. In theory, it's prime real estate. The land looks across the wide, slow-moving, lake-like Maumee River toward the city's skyline.
Currently, the Marina District land gets mowed occasionally. It has a road running through it with some pull-offs. It's become a park-like place with nesting Savanna Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks. Those birds require large areas of grassy land. It's strange that a downtown area of a mid-sized city can provide enough space for those bird species to nest or attempt to nest.
So why did it take so long for someone to buy that land? Is it because of Toledo's old ways of viewing the world? Is the problem Toledo's political climate?
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