July 28, 2009: Springfield Forward member George Pappas speaks with WWLP reporter J. Cashman. Springfield Forward voiced opposition to the proposed redevelopment of Longhill Gardens into subsidized low income only housing.
Much has been said about our advocacy for a better option at Longhill Gardens, so here it is in our own words: Springfield Forward believes that the warehousing and segregation of the poor in high density low-income projects is not only mean spirited, it defeats the very purpose of helping those who need it most. Crime flourishes in high density low-income projects because criminals prey upon the most vulnerable in our society, and as crime flows outward into the surrounding City, the residents of such projects are further isolated, stigmatized, disempowered and disenfranchised. We need to do better than that.
Integrated neighborhoods where residents come from ALL socio-economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds, develop a sense of community where neighbors help neighbors and look out for each other. INTEGRATED NEIGHBORHOODS = STABILIZED NEIGHBORHOODS = GENUINE COMMUNITY. Integrated neighborhoods waste less financial resources. Once you stabilize a neighborhood, crime goes down. Once crime goes down, resources are used more productively and a base for economic development has been created. Springfield Forward opposes using $20,000,000 of OUR TAXPAYER MONEY to warehouse and segregate those in need while enriching the developer and bankers who feed at the government trough. Springfield Forward believes we need to take our time, rethink this project, and come up with something better where everyone wins: the City, the community, and especially those who most need our help.
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