I am deeply saddened by our community`s rejection of the LAYC/YouthBuild proposal for Cook School and can no longer remain quiet.
I moved to this neighborhood 5 years ago because of the diversity and the location. I stayed and love living here because of our warm and welcoming neighbors. I feel at home here in a way I never experienced before. I am part of this community and honored to be so.
I fear that the very core of what I love about this neighborhood is in jeopardy. I love that this is a neighborhood where people can feel welcomed and at home regardless of race or class. That people are able to be themselves here and enjoy living beside people that are different from them. That we all are neighbors and that we treat each other with respect.
For me this welcome extends to our neighbors that are only here during the day. The people who come here to eat meals at S.O.M.E. and have no other place to call home are also my neighbors. These folks need a welcoming place to call home even more than I did. I feel that the homeless are often targets of attack especially when talking about crime reduction and ``cleaning-up`` the neighborhood. These conversations are important, but I hope they can happen in a context of respect. We cannot improve this neighborhood on the backs of the most vulnerable. It`s not just their dignity that is at stake, it`s our identity as a welcoming, diverse community.
Similarly, I feel that our response to LAYC/YouthBuild proposal for Cook School was narrow minded and exclusive. We had the opportunity to welcome families and youth who need a home and we turned our backs on them. I love this neighborhood because of how welcoming we are, but these recent events make me wonder who we welcome. Do I only think we`re a welcoming neighborhood because I am privileged?
I hope to work with you all in fostering the diversity and generosity that makes our neighborhood so great.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
a neighbor responds: "I am saddened by our community's rejection of the LAYC/YB proposal"
See this message from a resident of S Street NW: