Monday, July 23, 2018

Jul 23, 2018

There’s an editorial in The Recorder calling for a change in the Greenfield laws to ban people sleeping in the rough on the town Common.
Perhaps the current editorial writer has forgotten the purpose of the New England town common, or has subscribed to the notion that a town’s branding is more important than the commonwealth of the people who live there.
It’s a punitive, fearful, discriminatory cry from a local company that has itself long felt at liberty to pay its employees so little they routinely qualify for public assistance and cannot afford the rising local rents.
Perhaps some actual cross-sector collaboration and energy pulled together on practical housing policy to imagine and create truly affordable apartments in the walkable and bikable downtown, would be a better idea.
This is Franklin County after all, a place known for the highest percentage of income of charitable giving in the state even as its residents live pretty close to the bone. This is a place where people create food co-ops and arts organizations and farm shares and a Garlic Festival, Conway throws a dessert potluck to study-up before its town meeting, Greenfield built a stellar music and balloon festival — all this happens because people are sometimes simply fearless enough to dream up good ideas and show up to help.
We make some wicked good beer, too.
A good editorial should offer vision and leadership. This is a shameful piece.
We can fix the housing crisis locally, by using our imaginations, our good will and taking care of each other. I bet there will even be a few fun potlucks along the way.

-Samantha Wood

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