Many of us spoke on the Homelessness in our city. We were right across the street from you Mr. Mayor. We were angry. Couldn’t you hear us? We signed petitions. We addressed with great clarity how serious our problem is. We requested a meeting with you Mr. Mayor, to discuss the travesty that only gets worse as you ignore it. You had to have heard us THEN, didn’t you Mr. Mayor?
We stood at your doorstep and called for action. Our Great Warriors marched up your grand marble staircase and hand delivered a letter to your office. You weren’t available Mr. Mayor. You must have had something more important to do than housing the poor of Springfield. It seems you may think we are easy to ignore. We are not going away Mr. Mayor.
We decided to come to your office, with hope of a meeting to discuss the urgent need of Housing. We showed up with our own beautiful oriental carpet, lighting, music, magazines and entertainment. Hell, we even bought lunch. You called the police.
You smiled as you tried to walk by us Mr. Mayor. You got about 10 feet away, and you couldn’t help yourself. You turned around and came back for the last word. You did this three times. You pointed your finger, you talked down to us, and you showed us arrogance. In the face of a homeless mother, in tears, you showed NO compassion. You walked away.
We are not going away Mr. Mayor.
We now demand a Housing Task Force, made up of at least 50% low or moderate income members. We are not going away!
Finally, Mr. Mayor, On the 1 year anniversary of the tornado, you invited all of your supporters in city and state government, for a time of self-congratulatory frivolity, 50 of your supporters came to the First Church, a far cry from the thousands you claim to have been involved in the Rebuilding Springfield Effort. We were there Mr. Mayor. You walked right by us. We had signs- “What About Us?” You pretended not to see us once again. You smiled as you walked past the 6 year old who looked directly at you, asking for help. Can’t you see why we are Angry Mr. Mayor? You have kept us out of the Rebuilding Springfield plan. We have repeatedly tried to be involved. We have real ideas, with real poor people, with real needs. A real difference could be made here Mr. Mayor with input from those who desperately need help. But, you choose to ignore us. Can’t you see why we are Angry Mr. Mayor? We are not going away.
You indiscriminately demolished housing after the tornado without Due Process. Without professional opinion stating whether or not the structure could be saved, and then you charged the owner for the demolition cost. Many more families needlessly homeless because of a decision that could have been avoided if we had a Housing Task Force in place. A task Force of the People to give voice to their needs. Given the millions of dollars being appropriated to housing in Springfield, supposedly, to help those most devastated by the tornado, it would make perfect sense to listen to those individuals. THE HOUSING TASK FORCE. You will not even meet with us on this issue Mr. Mayor. You choose to ignore us. Can’t you see why we are ANGRY?
We, the voices of THE VOTERS, THE FAMILIES, THE CHILDREN, THE POOR, THE HOMELESS, Need a Housing Task Force in Springfield.
WE ARE ANGRY AND WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY.
By John Morris