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Long-Time Resident Stands Up for Pillsbury Commons

Camillo DeSantis defends the project and charges some of its opponents with fear mongering.

has spent nearly 60 years as a Richfield resident and just as long as a community activist and working in the social services industry.

With being loud and proud in their opposition, DeSantis has made trips to the microphone during Richfield City Council public forum and recently wrote a lengthy letter to the city in an attempt to squash "

Richfield Commoners United, a neighborhood group that has formed against the development, also goes by Richfield SOS (Save Our Suburb). DeSantis argues the group's circulars making their way through the city are "examples of fear mongering, distortions, innuendos, misinformation, wild and misguided speculation, falsehoods and confusion to name some."

He also stated the families who would be living in the complex are working to earn a living just like anybody else in the neighborhood and workforce families should stop being referred to as "low-income."

"The SOS group consistently refers to the potential Pillsbury Commons residents as 'low-income' with the demeanor that they are inferior, the “scum” of the earth, and the lowest of the lowest and taking advantage of various forms of public assistance," DeSantis wrote in his letter to the city. "Some even say the entire Pillsbury Commons will become a Section 8 public housing project. This is absolutely hysteria out of control."

DeSantis also believes the project would allow workforce families to get their piece of the American Dream.

"The American Dream isn't limited to a single-family home," Camillo wrote. "What is sad about all this is the fact that Richfield is essentially 99% community, a work force community and we are squabbing over something everybody needs, a place to live."

DeSantis closed his letter with a couple questions for people to mull over:

"We often hear words like justice, equality, fairness, respect, opportunity, family values and children are our future," he wrote. "Are these universal values or selective values? Are we willing to apply them to the potential Pillsbury Commons families as well?"

DeSantis' full letter to the City of Richfield is attached to this article as a PDF.

Tell us how you feel about the project in the comments section below.

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T Bowers June 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
And in full disclosure, I am a Richfield resident and a Best Buy employee.
Richfield Commoners United June 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Tim - both of those statements are accurate - the future of Best Buy is in question and the estimated amount of taxes is $7 million. Cash flow and liquidity speak to the ability of the company's to meet it's debt but not to the long-term viability of the organization
Richfield Commoners United June 10, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I thought your name sounded familiar ... any relation to Rebecca Bowers of Community Action Partnership in Bloomington? I had a lively discussion with her a few months ago.
Richfield Commoners United June 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM
We want to work together and show there is a better way to provide housing, http://richfield.patch.com/articles/pillsbury-commons-project-effectively-dead?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001#comment_3596579
Richfield Commoners United June 13, 2012 at 08:08 PM
So Ron Clark has a rental Property and he has not paid rental Lic either? Let's see who will call and say why is Ron Clark getting things for free? http://www16.co.hennepin.mn.us/pins/addrresult.jsp Proerty ID#34-028-24-34-0049 Address:7600 PILLSBURY AVE S Taxpayer Name & Address: RICHFIELD PROPERTIES LLC, 7500 78TH ST W, EDINA MN 55439 Page 20 of 26...HUMMM do not see Ron Clark paying rental fee? WHY? http://www.cityofrichfield.org/permits/docs/Richfield___List_of_Rental_Properties.pdf

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