Dear Neighbors, Community Members, and All that You Are:
I love Uptown. The very fact that so many of us are contributing to this valuable conversation about making our neighborhood even stronger is just one reason why.
I know this conversation is much larger than my individual participation, but all I have heard through neighborly meetings and discussions leaves me confident with hope that we will accomplish our shared goals.
I add this to the exchange: the economic leap that surely awaits Uptown risks overlooking a reality.
The very possibility of progress privileges many of us. We are further enabled and our causes are further supported as we join together in advocacy.
But not all of us: possibility is not inherently shared.
Not everyone in our neighborhood has enjoyed the same possibility for betterment.
Institutional systems stronger than any one neighbor have worked to politically disenfranchise, socially divest, and economically disinvest from only specific and certain people groups. These societal structures have been actively discriminating for generations, and even other efforts are more current. Uptown has seen schools close, social services cut, and residents evicted not through fault.
Do not deny that these have affected Uptown residents disproportionately: people of color, people with disabilities, and everyone faced with poverty have all been more greatly impacted by the negative consequences that benefit some of the rest of us.
But this is not an accusation. This is an invitation.
I hold these values to be apparent, and I hope you will join me:
The true privilege of Uptown is the right to call the neighborhood home.
Our responsibility is to care not only for ourselves with respect to that right, but for that right of our neighbors, too.
Our diversity makes us stronger, socially and economically, and divisiveness only depresses.
A neighborhood may just be a place, but community is something we create.
I’m looking forward to continuing to call Uptown, My Community. And I hope you will join me in inclusively inviting everyone else to continue to do the same.
Sincerely Your Neighbor,
and Looking Forward,
#WeAreAllTheNeighborhood : The New Neighborhood Block Club Manual
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