Give me* your tired, your poor

*and by “me”, I mean “someone else”

The huddled masses/wretched refuse will once again be paid attention to at tomorrow night’s Council meeting.

In item 10f, Councilor Russell asks whether the Council can ban folks from going through other people’s recycling bins for returnables.  In item 11c, Councilors Rosen and Gaffney ask about the extent of drug use in the main library, as well as whether the sharps disposal boxes on the first floor of the library have been working.

I would like someone to ask why we continue to try to find new ways to criminalize being poor, and when we can start considering drug addiction a community problem and not a library problem.

Kudos to the City Manager for putting a sharps container in the main library bathrooms.  We need more, and we need to stop pretending that this is a downtown issue, or that all who use opiates are poor, homeless, or regular library patrons.  There are people in your neighborhood, in all neighborhoods, even in Holden, who are using IV drugs on a regular basis.

Focusing on the library to the exclusion of the larger issue is short-sighted and dangerous.  (Not that that’s what’s happening here, but Council discussions can quickly degenerate into oneupsmanship of whose constituent saw more illicit activity in which bathroom.)

And, for goodness sake, if we spent as much time trying to get quality jobs in Worcester as we did for blaming folks for being poor and trying to pick up a few extra bucks, no one would have to head out early on a trash day for returnables.