The Scourge of Uptown Speaks | Letters | Chicago Reader

The Scourge of Uptown Speaks 

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[Re: Neighborhood News, January 28; Letters, February 4]

I am tired of being characterized as the bad guy. I've been living in Uptown for six years, and I constantly read that I somehow threaten the local poor population. I'm not here to evict the poor. But I am telling the poor they don't have to tolerate what goes on in Uptown.

I feel confident saying I want what everyone wants: a safe, nice neighborhood.

I want to walk down the street during daylight and not look over my shoulder. Poor or rich, everyone wants to feel comfortable in their neighborhood. There's a big difference between a poor neighborhood and an unsafe neighborhood. Uptown is an unsafe neighborhood.

Unfortunately, there are too many people in Uptown who tolerate the hookers, the drug dealers, the corrupt merchants, the begging, the graffiti. I'm here to say that NOBODY should tolerate these crimes on a daily basis.

As a member of Buena Park Neighbors, I'm proud to say I planted a garden in the Uptown Library. I'm proud to say we got rid of the graffiti and planted new trees on Broadway. I'm proud of our Public Safety committee who works with CAPS and the local police department in solving prostitution and drug-trafficking problems.

Now who would you rather have in your neighborhood? Do you want a "noisy minority" who works with all Uptown residents, the local government, and authorities, trying to solve the hooker, graffiti, and drug problems; a "minority" that plants flowers and trees; a "minority" that adopts a local family at Christmas; a "minority" that holds open community meetings and social events, including block parties and supervised trick-or-treating? Or would you rather have a community that tolerates its unsafe neighborhood?

Ken Hollern

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