Poor People not invited to talk about poor people

13 Mar

On April 3 at 7PM, there will be a meeting in Northampton at the JFK middle school to discuss issues in Downtown Northampton.  Traditionally, “downtown issues” are those annoying poor people downtown that make us uncomfortable to see because then we have to acknowledge that they exist.

The meeting is of course held mile away from downtown Northampton, as a time and location where the buses have stopped running and at a time where people in homeless shelters cannot attend because if they miss their 5:30 PM curfew they will lose their bed and be kicked out onto the street.

This is of course a meeting to hear “all voices” but we make sure not all voices are able to be heard.

We hate when men gather to talk about women’s healthcare.  We hate when voting polls are set up so that they are inconveniently located and inaccessible to the poor or require identification that some can’t afford.

This is the same thing.

For years, the privileged class of Northampton has sought to eliminate the poor from their line of sight.  They continue to fail but they keep coming up with new schemes.  Its clear they won’t stop until this perceived pest infestation is exterminated, because they don’t see that poor people are still people.  They matter.  They have value.  They are not animals or insects to eliminate.

Please, anyone who can attend this meeting to be a voice for the voiceless, come and speak.  We must stop the constant attempts by the city to criminalize the poor, the addicted, and the mentally ill.

I continue to express to the city and community the need for a community center that will give the homeless a place to be other than outside of the businesses on Main Street.  The city and community have said no.  I have expressed that it’s better to create a place where the underlying causes of homelessness, panhandling, addiction, and crime are addressed and treated.  The community and its government have said no.

They’d rather lock them up or push them out to another community.  They’d rather take the heartless approach.  Please attend to help me support a better solution, and to provide a voice for the voiceless.


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