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.


8 thoughts on “Give me* your tired, your poor

  1. […] Manager for 2 reports, one on drug use at the library and other public buildings, the other about whether needle disposal boxes in the library bathroom are […]

  2. gayle says:

    Totally disagree with your viewpoint on having a needles box at the have sex in the park ,you don’t put Condon dispensers there and I applaud the councilors who are questioning the CM on this and I think this should go to a City discussion on if they want to abandon their libraries .
    As far as the rubbish issue ,I agree with you and shame on Mr Russell and the public should be educated to separate their cans to make it easier for people in need to pick up and the City can use the waste dollars spent on their pamphlet on not throwing dog waste down the sewers.
    And as far as jobs ,can someone please tell me why City Hall human resources has a job posting for a new cultural position in economic development for $54,000 for region development (is that $54,000 City of Worcester taxpayer money?) And economic development has posting for free intern work for the City.
    Lots of Motions,no one watching, ,no follow up and no accountability.

    • Nicole says:

      I think the analogy to condom dispensers isn’t the same; we’re not giving out needles, just providing a place to put them. Many places have sharps disposal as it’s convenient for folks who use needles (diabetics, etc) rather than having them in the waste stream.

      I also think there’s a perception (incorrect, to my mind) that the main branch of the library is unsafe. If the only warm place in the winter, and cool place in the summer, open to all members of the public is the library…of course there are going to be problems.

      But people have been having sex — and doing drugs — in the bathrooms at City Hall for many years. It doesn’t seem to stop anyone from paying their bills in person or getting married at the clerk’s office.

  3. gayle says:

    The Condon analogy relates to when the aids epidemic came out also

    .There is no question that there should be more boxes but for a City that can’t get a ratio(based on population and usage) of City trash barrels and pick up ,City no litter ,other rules,signage posted on streets and in parks the CM quick decision of the box in the reported troubled library smacks of appeasement to certain groups and not good CITY policy. He should have organized the suggestion back into subcommittee with trash and signage which lots of councilors keep repeating the Cities need in Motions that go nowhere.
    A warm place to go in the winter should and already is in subcommittee for health etc but hidden. .Again the problem is follow thru and discussion of the problem By subcommittee (and minutes for residents to follow) before the CM (and simplistic answers ) decide to turn the Library into what it wasn’t designed for.This isn’t a way the City should deal with problems.

  4. Adrian Mejia says:

    Is there anything we can do about the recycling bins thing? Show up to the meeting to show we’re against the ban or something like that?

    • Nicole says:

      As Gayle said, please show up at the Council meeting (7pm-ish). There’s a public forum at the beginning where you can speak against it.

  5. gayle says:

    Council will let you speak for 2 mins before meeting tonight about how you are against another (wasteful )approach to another ordinance about trash. I feel the CM should organize the approach along with the other various sections of the City looking for signage, trash barell locations &pickup etc. I feel that when the Councilors come up with their appeasement questions like this one, they should give choices like want an ordinance, study of effective dealings with City trash problems, group this motion in with other motions on same topic filed under their lastest report of using plastic bags instead of recycle bins test results(vs money spent) etc. Residents should demand a better process to their trash progress.
    However they will let you give a 2 min speech and say thank you at end of speech.

  6. gayle says:

    Below is a copy of part of my email that I just sent to some councilors after viewing City Council video of last nights meeting in regards To Motion on needle box in Library. I am cross posting it here in hopes that people who are concerned about the Library do not let a cheap suggestion of ” ?installing blue lights” there die a slow death.
    content of email below sent to councilors, Rosen, Gaffney and Bergman.

    I just want to point out and add while watching the video ,noone brought up discussion from the lady (who spoke during the 2 min public discussion) that was from?or involved with the library board about a need for installing -?some sort of blue light in Library bathroom- that makes it difficult for people to find their veins to shoot up and consequently not use the bathrooms for this purpose.

    Please do not let this-small ,cheap idea- fall through the cracks of discussion or help. I see the big fault of the City (administration and residents) is a simple,cheap idea being given the same excuses or in this case last night being ignored ,of not enough money,your dept. already got enough help, or we have bigger issues , or work to get a petition of 200 residents to get involved etc. until the little (1 lady in public that had courage to announce something-the blue light) person jusT gives up.

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