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Rockford Construction claims to curate and nurture community: We call Bullshit!

December 10, 2020

The great linguist and political writer Noam Chomsky taught me the importance of reading the business press, since it is often a better form of journalism and where members of the Capitalist class are often more honest.

This honesty was reflected, not in an article, but in an ad, or what MiBiz calls, sponsored content. On December 3rd, Rockford Construction paid for space on the online forum of MiBiz, with an ad that is entitled, Rockford Property Management: Serving with Soul

Besides being a construction company, Rockford Construction also does property management, which has been a more recent feature of the company, especially with their efforts to “re-make” the westside of Grand Rapids. The paid content from Rockford Construction acknowledges the value of the assets they control, stating:

Additionally, our combined portfolio represents $365 million in assets managed. Thanks to our wide-ranging capabilities, we stand ready to deliver high-quality services for any owner at any property, just as we’ve proven throughout the past year with some of our most recent work.

The sponsored content from Rockford Construction, then ends with this comment:

“we recognize that curating and nurturing community is the most important part of our efforts. Serving with soul is what we do best – and we look forward to seeing where it takes us next.”

So the company curates and nurtures community. Interesting. Does curating and nurturing community mean partnering with the DeVos family and spending millions to acquire property in the southeast part of Grand Rapids, a few years before even telling the mostly Black residents in that part of the city what they were up to

Does curating and nurturing community mean turning the near-westside of Grand Rapids on Bridge St. into an entertainment, shopping and residential neighborhood, which is what CEO Mike VanGessel said back in 2016

By curating and nurturing community, does Rockford Construction mean displacing residents, as we saw in 2016? 

Maybe what Rockford Construction means by curating and nurturing community is using public money (through subsidies) to construct primarily housing that benefits the professional class and ignores those who are struggling. 

Or is it possible that when they say curate and nurture community, Rockford Construction means hosting public forums to pacify people, when the reality is that they are going to do whatever they want because they own the land and have friends with lots of political power? 

Perhaps what Rockford Construction means by curating and nurturing community, is to have a family member sit on the Planning Commission an vote to support construction projects, even though there is a clear conflict of interest. 

It seems to this writer that when Rockford Construction says they curate and nurture community, what they really mean by community is people with money and people who are part of the professional class…….white people. Over the past 10 years is seems very clear that Rockford Construction has not only been a major player in the gentrification of this city, they have engaged in class war and White Saviorism, especially since they decided to partner with the DeVos cartel.

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