|People of color about; run away!|
Update: Customer today at Meadowood shopping mall: "Why are Blaska and the media talking down business here. Not ONE crime has occurred against a person in this mall. It doesn't making any sense!"
David Blaska Short Sighted and Wrongby Jackie Captain
To what end does David Blaska ask us to seek the 'root causes' of the Meadowood neighborhood's 'ills' (see Blaska's guest opinion column, Wisconsin State Journal; 10/6/12)?
So that he can have someone to blame -- other than himself -- for the neighborhood's supposed demise? Because Mr. Blaska, if you are not part of the solution, you are definitely a part of the problem here.
What are the 'root causes' of the neighborhood ills -- Blaska never says really in his piece. He implies that it is section 8 housing, 'food stamps, free meals, and other goodies.' Are those involved in any of these government programs ever asked to join the neighborhood associations or welcomed to the area?
I lived in a condo in the adjacent Jamestown neighborhood for twelve years and never once was asked to join the neighborhood association. I never felt I was a welcomed part of the community.
Does section 8 housing itself cause neighborhood deterioration, as Blaska implies, or is it the existing neighborhood's response to section 8 housing that underlies the lack of community?
Why do none of the neighborhood associations ask the apartment, condo, and duplex dwellers to join and become active members of the community?
Why aren't they welcomed to the neighborhood and asked to join committees that decide the fate of their streets and the celebrations throughout the year?
Many of my neighbors in the Jamestown area had moved up to Madison from Chicago to escape that city's mean streets only to find mean people here.
Blaska seems to argue that once he miraculously disclosed the root cause of the Meadowood neighborhood's ills as section 8 housing that flight from the neighborhood is the only option.
Does Blaska's column give us any insights with which to go forward. No, but Madison Mayor Soglin has. Blaska gives us only snide jokes and disparaging comments.
To create a healthy, friendly community, you have to treat all members of the neighborhood as equals and ask them to join in the fight to make their city, neighborhood, and community to be the best place possible.
Forget the name calling and the finger pointing and get down to work, David Blaska.
Note: A version of this column appeared as a letter in the Wisconsin State Journal.