Palmer Chiropractic College wants to push out local residents because they don’t like the demographic, and they’re enlisting Davenport City Hall to do it. Palmer has submitted a proposed Planned Institutional District (PID). If approved, it would allow Palmer to displace between 80 and 100 residents of the area covered by the PID. According to census data, the district is approximately 55 percent African American. Further, the PID includes historic buildings, which are on the National Registry. Some are owned by Palmer, which has let them fall into disrepair. Then, Palmer applies to demolish these structures, citing “blight.”

Displacing that many black residents is a violation of the Fair Housing Act, a federal law which prohibits rezoning such as this if it has a disparate impact on minority residents. Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch is on the Palmer College Board of Trustees. The PID has been allowed to bypass the Historic Preservation Commission. This process has been rushed forward without concern for the welfare of Davenport residents or its historic buildings, in favor of things like “open green space” and athletic facilities. If Palmer continues to expand, there will simply be no more room at some point, even if the PID is enacted. Thus, they’re destroying a neighborhood, displacing residents, all to abandon the downtown campus at some point. Three more meetings will be held on this issue, the first of which is 5 p.m. Tuesday at 226 W. 4th Street, Davenport. Please show up to the meeting whether you live in the PID area or not, and let the city know they don't have public support for this move.

Carrie Clark