Newly appointed Planning Commissioner Terri Denslow has been trying to defend the indefensible. This video is crystal clear in what she said and what she meant.
In case some of you don’t have time to meet with Denslow for coffee, here’s some insight into where she really stands. In her comments to the city council last March after the parolee housing discussion, she accused the city council and residents of Clayton of having the same mindset as racists from the post Civil War era. Keep in mind a Mexican American and an Asian American are on the City Council. She also accused Clayton residents, who had legitimate concerns over their family’s safety, of somehow using that as an excuse to fear monger and advance their own racist agendas. Why would Denslow say such outlandish things? The reality is this is nothing more than someone who’s hiding their political ambitions and playing the race card to push their own political agenda.
Here is Terri Denslow’s quote verbatim from that March 2019 city council meeting…
“Through the retrospective eyes of history, we often don’t assimilate our actions of now with those of our ancestors. We’re doomed to repeat the ills of the past when we avoid this mirror of self-reflection. When we as a city, residents and council alike, ponder the development and adoption of loopholes in the name of safety and comfort that inherently prohibit others from residing amongst us, I question how we are trekking a route any different than Jim Crow laws of the past adopted under the same fear-based notions.”
What do you think she’s saying? Is it a misunderstanding as she is now claiming?
Watch the video…
Last year, when the parolee housing ordinance came up before the City Council, there was a lot of discussion about what kind of limits were allowable. Having many valid concerns, the community was almost universally opposed to allowing parolee housing in Clayton. Unfortunately, the City Council chose not to take action and did not support efforts by Councilmember Wan to even explore how the weak ordinance that was passed would work.
At one point during the debate, Councilmember Pierce had gone so far as to say that the city should make the process “as ugly a process as can possibly be” and that she is “going to count on everyone to raise holy hell to drive them out”. But since Pierce is an ideological ally of Denslow she gets a pass and therefore doesn’t get criticized as being a racist when she talks about driving “them” out.
What Denslow said is obviously race baiting, and a very weak attempt at that. It’s a common tactic used by those who don’t have strong arguments: Accuse people who disagree with you as being racist instead of providing a substantive argument.
And now Denslow is the person who four members of the City Council supported to join the Planning Commission. Pierce openly stated that she supported Denslow the race baiter for a position on the Planning Commission, because she will have “a woman’s touch”. If those comments were made in a professional setting, that alone could be enough for a lawsuit. Using someone’s gender as a basis in a hiring decision is clearly illegal.
The Planning Commission is the group responsible for reviewing development projects, city ordinances on land use for things like parolee housing, and zoning changes that have allowed Bill Jordan to push his enormous 3-story 3-building, 40-foot tall high-density apartment development with completely inadequate parking right in our downtown. Is Denslow really a person who’s judgment we can trust? We need Planning Commissioners who understand the importance of their actions and don’t make baseless accusations of racism for their own personal political gain. And we need Councilmembers who make better decisions on who they support for these important positions. Denslow and this current slate of Councilmembers are not up to this task. Time to clear the slate.