American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Little Pink House" (2017)

 

New London Town Hall on Proposed NLDC Redevelopment Plan

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address principally delivered by Jeanne Tripplehorn and Catherine Keener

 

Dr. Charlotte Wells: Folks, I know there's been a lot of speculation about what's going on in the neighborhood, and I thought it would be good to get together tonight and talk about it. Now first, let me tell you about a new vision for New London. And I am here tonight to invite each and every one of you to be a part of our team to create this vision -- a New London that is vital and hip.

Susette Kelo: Hip? You mean, "High Income People" "HIP"?

 

Dr. Wells: All right. All right, please. Please everyone, let's -- let's keep this civil.

Female Audience Member: What?!

Ms. Kelo: Oh, okay. While we're keeping it civil, you'll be stealing our homes. Is that right?

Dr. Wells: No, no, no. That is not true. Everyone, no final decisions have been made. We are still looking into every alternative.

 

Mayor Beachy: Well then why did you fire the engineering firm that suggested these homes might be spared?

Dr. Wells: Well -- Well, actually, they weren't fired. Their work was done and we both moved on.

Paulette Vecchiarelli: Oh, oh, excuse me. You moved on because Pfizer told you to move on.

 

Dr. Wells: Let me be clear -- because I know that there are some of you who view this redevelopment as a bad thing.

Ms. Kelo: I'm sorry, but do you see kicking us out of our homes as a bad thing?

Dr. Wells: I assure you no one wants to kick you out of your homes.

Billy von Winkle: You sure got a funny way of showing it.

 

Dr. Wells: Please understand our perspective here. The most important thing to us, to me -- I'm -- I'm sure you'll all agree -- is to help those in need. Yes. The jobless, the homeless, the people on the fringes of society -- they will benefit the most from this plan.

Mayor Beachy: How?

Dr. Wells: Pfizer's expansion to New London will increase this city's tax revenue by 12 million dollars a year! We are only here to make this city that you live in a better place.

 

Ms. Kelo: Who decides what a better place is? You?

Dr. Wells: Oh, no. No, no. Not me. Your community wants this.

Audience Members: No!

Dr. Wells: Oh, yes. And your city needs this.

 

von Winkle: Charlotte? Charlotte. What are you gonna do so that these people can keep their homes?

Dr. Wells: The best course for us to improve our city would be to acquire all the homes.

Ms. Vecchiarelli: What?! This is bullshit! This is bullshit! It's bullshit!

von Winkle: You're gonna help the homeless by kicking people out of their homes?

Male Audience Member: Where do you people get off? This is unbelievable.

 

Ms. Kelo: No, I think I get it. I -- You took one look at our neighborhood and saw this great water view and said, "Hey, this is pretty nice. What are all these scumbags doing here? Their houses aren't good enough. They can't be next to Pfizer. They just don't fit in."

Dr. Wells: No. Here's the thing. Social justice and economic development -- they go hand in hand.

Ms. Kelo: Do you think we fit in?

Dr. Wells: Susette, I would like to think there's a place here for all of us.

Ms. Kelo: Thank you.

Male Audience Member: What does that mean?

Dr. Wells: Any other comments?

See Also: Opening Statement to Congress from the Real Susette Kelo!
And Also: Ilya Somin's Kelo v. City of New Londong" and the Limits of Eminent Domain
And Also: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments and Decision in Kelo v. City of New London

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.