I awaken at 5 a.m. with the thought: Why isn’t our community thriving?
This question has been tugging at me for weeks.
We just had an election, and as everyone knows, the turnout was not so great, especially in our community.
Politicians were campaigning; they had volunteers ringing our door bells, asking us to vote for their particular candidate.
Here is the question: If you were important during campaigning, why aren’t you important after the election?
Promises are made before the election. The biggest promise made: If you elect me, I will represent the community as a whole and make sure we don’t repeat the pattern of the last candidate.
Then you find out it was all a lie just to get into office; suddenly there is selective memory and no one seems to remember beating down the door, having town hall meetings and putting out mailings with th0se bogus promises.
They run in teams, so they can have camaraderie when they need to get a vote passed. They hire family members and friends who will go along with the agenda they have set after they have tricked the voters into believing they were the best candidate.
Now maybe, just maybe, some elected officials are doing the things they said they would do, but you can best believe some things are going undone. They do enough just to pacify the community so residents keep quiet, and I am sick of it.
You visit the elected official’s office, and suddenly, you are on a waiting list or you’re told, “I will get back to you.”
If TIF or NIP funds are needed, the quick response is, “Oh, we did not put in for that this year, but maybe we could put it in the budget for next year.”
You sit behind closed doors and make decisions without even considering the long-term effect it will have on the community. The poor become poorer, and the middle class drops down and become the poor.
We as residents have to swallow the financial pill for your foolish decisions.
I am sick and tired of seeing other outside organizations come in to do business in our community, and we get the crumbs.
Our kids suffer because you decide to close the schools in our neighborhoods so you can increase charter schools or take those funds and build your schools up.
There are abandoned buildings, over four in a block; our seniors have to hurry up and go to the store before it gets dark.
What I am most sick of is the raising of property taxes, negating the large population of unemployed workers. I am sick and tired of elected officials terminating unemployment benefits, but they won’t give up a week of pay or take a pay cut themselves.
I am sick of unqualified, inconsiderate people who say they represent the community but represent themselves. We deserve better.
How do you sleep at night when you know you could have made a difference? I’m talking about from the White House down, no elected official is excluded from this – not one – because you all play a part in the destruction or the lack of growth in our communities.
There is too much money out here as well as private investors who will match funds so they can have the tax write-off for our neighborhoods to look the way they do. There is no excuse, none at all; you can’t explain this away.
How can you continue to repeat an office knowing you have deceived your voters again and the promises you make will not be kept. You don’t want to help with our youth, but yet you criticize them for standing on the corners; where is the training for jobs so they can make an honest living?
How about the single mother who needs daycare but doesn’t quite qualify for subsidies? How about the veteran who comes home with all kinds of things he has to deal with from serving his country and he cannot walk into a job?
When you sit back and make decisions not to help the people in need, you have failed as an elected official. Stop with the sugar coating and giving yourselves pats on your the back.
You talk about cuts and saving money. How about you cut that expensive security detail we pay for? How about your children go to a regular community college? You want us to change our lifestyles for the decisions you make as an elected official, but you are not willing to change yours.
What you should address you don’t and what you should leave alone is what you change. Some of you go on TV talking about what you think you know about criminals, yet it’s honest people who suffer.
There is no American dream; it’s politicians who determine if you can dream, but you take away the opportunity with the decisions you make. It may not change, but I can let my voice be heard.
If the shoe doesn’t fit, you don’t have to wear it. But if it does, then put both of them on and walk in your mess and clean it up.
If no one is pissed off besides me, then you should be because this is affecting our children present and future, as well as seniors, veterans, ex-offenders, homeowners, etc.
We need to stop sitting in silence, shaking our heads, saying it’s a shame; get off your butts, make your voices heard. Politicians need to be held accountable for their actions; we can’t continue to live like this.
We are not going to make it, not at all.
Renna Thomas has lived in the community for over 42 years. She loves conversation that “provokes a thought process” and helps “bring you back to reality.”