Posts Tagged ‘criminilization of homeless’

Wingnut Statement On The Monroe Park Renovation Plan

The current renovation plans for Monroe Park are riddled with problems and are overall, entirely unacceptable.

Our demands regarding the park are as follows:

We oppose the renovation plans in their entirety, as they are racist, classist, and a thinly veiled attempt at privatizing and capitalizing on a public park.

  1. There needs to be an immediate cessation of all attempts from MPAC and the City of Richmond to criminalize the homeless.
  2. We demand the inclusion of homeless people in all decisions relating to homelessness, housing, free food programs, etc. We demand that the homeless be given roles with the power to make decisions about their own futures in whatever groups or organizations are making these decisions.
  3. We demand the cessation of the endless promotion of the Conrad Center as the solution to homelessness in Richmond. We demand the cessation of the attempts to centralize all programs that serve the homeless at the Conrad Center, which has aggressively pushed its agenda of misinformation for years now.
  4. We demand that there be NO paid park director, especially at the outrageous salary of 150,000 a year. (more…)

This article was posted on the Oregon Hill neighborhood website by Todd Woodson. He gives his perspective on the Monroe Park Advisory Council and the history leading up to their current renovation plans. What is more interesting than the article itself is the comments. Online Commenter ‘Michael’ does a really nice job of arguing the reasons for keeping Monroe Park open during renovations.

‘Michael’, who is not associated with Food Not Bombs or other programs in the park  says:

“Renovations are done to important city infrastructure in segments ALL THE TIME. We don’t close the entire Fan District to address water pipes and repaving and whatever else has been worked on in the city. The park is an important resource to a lot of people, it would be very sad for it to be completely closed off for 18+ months.

As I understand it, the park has been used for feeding programs because of its openness and central location. It is a gathering place, a public space where people who aren’t as fortunate as you and I can go to gather their wits without having to deal with being constantly observed and shuffled about by owners of a building. It is a free space in a central location with public facilities, with lighting and nature and a variety of patrons. Its a special place that should not be shut down in the opinion of quite a many number of people who are tax-payers and concerned citizens.

Why not fight for this or that? I’m not in the business of deciding what is better for other people. This is a public place that others CHOOSE to utilize. We don’t have to bus people in and out, no one has to maintain a building, no one has to be shut away from the public eye, this is a public space and in my heart I believe it should remain that way. Want to renovate? Great, do renovations in the park, but find a way to do it without closing it down and locking people out. (more…)