OK, I’m the guy who’s quoted in the newspaper on Christmas Day that it’s a great thing to kick a 101 year old woman out of her house during the holidays.
What I’ve learned this holiday season:
1) Jesus Christ, why can’t I learn to keep my mouth shut and not talk to fucking newspaper reporters?
2) None of the details really matter in this story–the horrible conditions the elderly woman was living in, the fact the house has been a crack house for over 20 years, the complaints of the neighbors–the paper is going to print two things: 101 year old woman, Christmas eviction.
3) The slender reed I hang my fragile sense of self on–the woman really will be better off out of those conditions–is cold comfort in light of the nasty e-mails and my already wobbly convictions about my future as an organizer. Can’t wait to get back to the office and check out my voice mail.
4) If the police and city hall were at all efficient in administering the Nuisance Abatement program, the woman would have already served out the closure time and have been back in her home for the holidays. The freaking hearing was in April for god’s sake.
5) My organization hasn’t even had funding to work on crime issues for the past several years (not to mention the 39% cut the Patterson budget is laying on our housing work.) Why work on these issues at all? There’s no way to “win” on this issue. Close a problem corner store and the desperately poor neighbors complain that they used to get credit at the store or their checks cashed or any other number of quasi-legal attractions that the store provided to people on the margins of society. Yeah, our little organization is going to make the streets safer, magically eliminate addictions, provide a way out of poverty. The only ones to respond are the ones we piss off. The ones who support us will either never hear of our work or be too busy to help.
6.) WTF is the point? 15 years in and I still feel like nothing I do has mattered. Happy f***ing holidays.