I belong to a community email list, identified as a Northside resource but focused mostly on the War Streets and surrounding communities. It is riotous group filled with a small core of virulently anti-homeless agitators. Not those who agitate to end homelessness, but to end the homeless. I am only slightly exaggerating.
I was at a community meeting this evening when this very topic arose. City Council has decided to approve historic status for a Northside building. I think its a facade (ha!) to prevent the current occupants, the Salvation Army, from renovating the space to meet the needs of the people they serve. Instead, we'll now all pay obesience to the legend of the Maltas. Which, by the way, was a men's social club. Wouldn't expect City Council to not openly salute the wonders of the men-only space now would we?
I digress. The building has a Salvation Army chapel, but Cat Specter's father George determined that it is not a church. If it was a church, it would not be historical structure. I don't know. But it smacks of yet another attempt to drive poor people out of the “good neighborhoods” on the Northside.
Another meeting attendee tried to shout me down on this one, telling me not to listen to the fringe element. I think that's bullshit. Leaders from the Northside are on that email list and routinely say NOTHING when this kind of classist, racist crap roils up. They say nothing and that speaks volumes to everyone reading.
Moral leadership demands accountability to the most vulnerable people in your constituency. The men and women who call the park and the nearby shelters home are Northside residents. More importantly, they are human beings and it makes me absolutely crazy that someone would stand quietly by and allow them to be vilified.