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Are YIMBYs a Silent Majority?

While NIMBYs make a lot of noise and a lot of news, could it be that support outweighs opposition when it comes to development? Some residents in Bethesda, Maryland think so.
December 31, 2015, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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David Jackmanson

Aaron Kraut reports on a controversial development proposal in the Westbard neighborhood of Bethesda, Maryland. Planning Commission meetings have gotten "contentious" and "raucous," according to the article, in response to a redevelopment proposal for the Westwood Shopping Center.

Following a public relations campaign by the project's developer, however, dozens of Bethesda residents sent emails to the Planning Commission in support of the project. Among those emails was a message from Ben McMakin, who argued that there's a silent majority of support for the project. Kraut highlights a few additional messages of support for the project as well.

Between the lines of the arguments of the development's supporters is a reminder of the media's tendency to present false equivalencies, i.e., giving equal weight to arguments that lack equal measures of evidence and reason. Of course, it will be to hard to present the side of support, much less discern between the good arguments and the bad, if so many of the "silent YIMBY majority" stay on the sidelines of these debates.

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Published on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 in Bethesda Magazine
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