An opinion piece
Thrilled with Uptown Tent City’s successes but…
The residents of the Uptown viaducts are my neighbors. It’s been great to see the community respond to the needs of the people that live there. It’s been exciting to see a handful of them housed, and others protected to some degree while they work for and wait for housing, with tents, tarps, warmth items, food and other needs.
It’s not enough but it is a start for advocacy. Chicago gov’t has dropped the ball though. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. James Cappleman, and their hit-woman Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler, have shown the world, far beyond their ability to lie about it, that they are cruel ‘leaders’ with total indifference to human suffering even death. Their any temperature winter viaduct cleanings may very well venture into premeditated criminal areas.
Recently as I noticed the Chicago City Council pass the Red Line TIF and the City Budget with unanimous votes, I thought the Chicago City Council really is a joke; even the phony ‘progressive’ aldermen. No wonder cruel and hateful aldermen like 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman get away with prioritizing inanimate objects over human life, corrupt to the service of the wealthy, to the detriment of everyone else.
Not one alderman has the guts to represent all people and stand up for the people that need help the most. Chicago’s housing, healthcare, education, and you name it, are being systematically robbed and a whole lot of people are suffering, including the people experiencing homelessness. All the aldermen can think of doing is voting exactly as the Mayor would have them vote. How shameful. So ‘progressive’, yeah… like fencing off encampment areas is progressive…
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality -Desmond Tutu
Every ward needs to replicate the UTC model
Don’t fight over Uptown. Expand the geography! Organize your community members including those currently and formerly homeless. Identify all the encampments and concentrations of people experiencing homelessness in your ward. Work with your local shelters. If you don’t have shelters, protest to get some. Cop watch if necessary. Photograph and video governmental cruelty. Fund raise for tents and other warmth items to protect your ward’s homeless.
Your neighbors experiencing homelessness need you to do all this. Chicago needs this city-wide.
The Mayor, City Council, and DFSS need to clean their own house, not homeless encampments.
Stand for human life please. Get your ward moving and let’s keep talking!