Sunday, February 17, 2008

Herald's Chicken: NIMBYs Discover the Internet

posted by Peter Rossi

Chastened by the results of the 53rd Street Vision Workshop, local NIMBYs and members of the HP-KFC are planning their own web survey on the development of Harper Court.

"We were disturbed by the broad cross-section of Hyde Parkers who participated in the Vision Workshop. We saw families and people of color who are not normally at our meetings held at the Hyde Park NIMBY Club," explained A. Robin, a group spokesperson.

"We want to have our say on the future of Harper Court. Normally, we would try to pack 'community meetings' with people sympathetic to our cause, but our alderman is trying to dis-enfranchise us by using other means of obtaining community sentiment," complained Jack B. Nimby, chair of the HP-KFC committee on historical irrelevance.

"Two can play at this game. We are going to administer a survey on our own terms," continued Mr. Nimby.

"We plan on careful screening of respondents to insure that only properly 'qualified' people have a chance to participate," explained Geof Rum, conference president. Screening criteria are under development but will include a requirement that the respondent have voted for Leon Despres in 1955 . Respondents must also be members of either the HP-KFC or the Hyde Park Hysterical Society.

The survey questionnaire will be designed by Leading Question, a graduate student in the Committee for Anarchist Thought at Chicago University. The Herald obtained a draft of the survey and we present a sampling of questions below:
  1. Don't you want to carry forward the original and noble purpose of Harper Court?

  2. Wouldn't you prefer local merchants who give back to our neighborhood to large, impersonal chain stores who carryout cash?

  3. Isn't it generally true that developers are only interested in lining their own pockets?

  4. Are you against the high-handed way Alderman Preckwinkle has tried to block community input?

  5. Don't you want to keep rich Northsiders out of Hyde Park?

Respondents will also be asked to rate the importance of various attributes such as "space for impromptu meetings" and "banning chain stores" on a scale from "I will chain myself to a tree" to "I will toss a Molotov cocktail."

The web address for the survey is a closely held secret. To allow only "right-minded" NIMBYs to respond, the web address will be published in the Herald and posted in the East View Park laundry room. In addition, if you give the password, "swordfish," at the secret meeting room at Cosimo's restaurant, you can complete the survey on the Hans Memorial Mac.

This post is based on "Harper Court Survey plans near completion" published in the February 13, 2008 edition of the Herald.


Richard Gill said...

Cosimo's restaurant - is that the place that's owned by Honus Horseback?

erith1 said...

I also was extremely amused that the web address was not published in the article. Isn't the point of having the survey on the Internet to attract as many people as possible? Obviously not, as pointed out in this post.

Peter Rossi said...

well, they may publish that address in the future.

but the Herald readership is hardly representative of Hyde Park!!

yes, Cosimo's is owned by Hans Morebucksforme