Thursday, August 19, 2010

We are all entitled to a community that cares about our children

Thanks to Dennis Eggemeyer from the PCCEO, we are beginning to get a better understanding of a hard working, single mother who questioned the powers that be last night at the meeting between the school district and the city which was held at Friendship House.

The feeling appears to be that this woman is suffering from a sense of entitlement. After looking at the video and listening to her plea, it is clear, this woman is not sitting around looking for a hand out.

It IS the job of the City of Peoria to provide a safe community so that children can go out and play. This mother is hardly the first person to ask the City to prioritize and think of what the people in the community need before giving handouts to developers.

Sure, there was a time when kids could go outside to play in their neighborhood and not worry about being hit with a bullet. However, I think we all can agree that those times have passed.

In certain neighborhoods, the parents who are trying to save their children from the street are forced to keep their children in the house. Paying for tumbling or traveling to extra-curricular classes is just not an option for most who are struggling just to get by in the inner city.

I guess one could say that I have a certain sense of entitlement. You see, I feel that I too am entitled to a community free from crime, safe places to play and schools where my children can get a decent education. My needs may be articulated a little more in keeping with what the majority is used to hearing, however, the mother in this video has just as much right to feel that the City owes her and her children a safe place to live and play as we do.

Bloggers blog ad nauseum about what they feel they are entitled to: the museum, the trail, the IMAX... need I go on? Just because we have the blog for a platform to speak about what we feel we are entitled to, does that make us any better than her? I think not.


Emerge Peoria said...

It is good to see that since Dennis posted the video, people are starting to see this Mom as being more like them.

Thanks to Dennis for taking the time to record this meeting.

Frustrated said...

I am out of the loop. Who is the gentleman speaking on the video. Is this Tim?

Emerge Peoria said...

Yes, that is Councilman Timothy Riggenbach.

Sharon Crews said...

As I said on C.J.'s blog, it's a shame that this woman can't even count on a high school within walking distance for her children. When I went to Woodruff, we all lived within walking distance--except for those whose parents had cars (mine didn't). There were no school buses. I understand and approved of busing to achieve intergration, but we have gone crazy with the busing by creating magnet schools, getting rid of K-8 schools to create primary and middle schools that aren't neighborhood schools, and closing schools.
When I was growing up, there were no agencies such as Neighborhood House, Friendship House, Urban League, Boys and Girls Clubs--there was the YMCA and YWCA. Of course, there might not have been as much need then.
I believe that the city and District 150 would like to get rid of crime, drugs, gangs, etc., to make neighborhood safer. For the first time since all of this violence, etc., took hold over the last thirty years, I believe that community members themselves in greater number are beginning to have the desire to help in this effort. I think that cooperation among community members, the city, and the police has only begun. The police can't do it without the community and the community can't do it without the police.
Is it out of the question to expect mothers like the one who spoke to seek some sort of network of friends and neighbors that can help supervise her children, etc., when she is working? I know that some families have more help available than do others. In the case of the children in my life, there is a grandmother, grandparents, an aunt, a neighbor or two, and me that help in varying degrees and length of time.
I sympathize with the woman for wanting a safe neighborhood, but a safe neighborhood wouldn't be the solution for providing supervision for her children when she works in the evening because a 10 year old shouldn't be alone. I'm not sure what I believe about who should be responsible under those circumstances--I am not convinced that taxpayers have that obligation. My guess is that there are some agencies that provide help with younger children in the daytime but old children and at night--don't know.

Dennis in Peoria said...

"The police can't do it without the community and the community can't do it without the police."

Sharon, I would like to add, in terms of education:
Parents/Children can't do it without the school district, and
the school district can't do it without the parents/children.

Frustrated said...

I would like to add that one parent has a difficult time holding things together, even when the parent is as highly motivated and determined, like this lady.

When you look at the failure of systems to come together to support a community, you also have to ask 1) where is the father of these children and why is he not helping? and, 2) WHERE is her child support??

Maybe she would be able to spend less time working if she received child support.