An open letter to Ralph Hernandez ( Predictable predicament, May 16, 2008): I had to calm down before I could respond to your recent comments. One initially gets the impression one is about to read something profound and Gettysburgesque, what with the Two years ago we were warned, and foretold, blah, blah, blah intro. You backed it up with the solid proclamation It's happened!
It seems despite your unwavering good sense and wisdom that Gary and his group, the UCBN, ignored your graceful warnings. What ingrates!
I have never attended a Quality of Life forum, but I get the e-mails because I requested to be on the list. That technically makes me only in collusion with the group, I suppose. Make no mistake: I am not hiding from you and challenge you to discuss our political beliefs.
Speaking of politics, you use the moniker Citizens for Democracy. How democratic is it of you to demand people's jobs? You certainly have the right to feel and voice this, but if I followed you around at your job, I could find fault with you, too. Don't we vote on this kind of stuff?
You seem to know the outcome of these lawsuits. I can see how. Admittedly, I have not read all the suits or legal documentation. But just doing rudimentary research on BALA and PA I found they were nonprofit (thus biased) and at least BALA is funded primarily through grants.
You spoke of cost. Broken down, the plaintiffs are receiving subsidized housing, legal aid partially funded by tax money, and now the city has to pay to defend itself (with more tax money). Fiscally, the slant is not with the people you are pointing fingers at, sir. So, we're already putting our money where our mouth is. Additionally, people should be aware when they live on public assistance that they will be under scrutiny so the most deserving receive the help they need.
I have witnessed firsthand obscene acts of racism. Let's look at Ms. Payne. Does BALA seriously think they're helping this woman? She's a textbook case of BWS. By trying to keep her in a home this man knows she lives in, they're keeping her a target for continued abuse or worse. You don't need statistics as proof of this; just turn on the news any given day.
I don't want to see anyone be a victim of any sort. At the same time, it has to be frightening to live next to someone the police have been to 29 times. It puts the lives of others in danger, and that is unacceptable. Advocacy groups would use resources more wisely relocating her and fighting for her rights against domestic abuse. Her type of abuser would have no compunction in murdering her.
I agree, Mr. Hernandez: there needs to be change. If racism truly is a factor here, there's more than a city council or citizens' group to blame. Your charges without solutions or only those solutions you agree with frankly aren't helping.