I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
The New Berlin Mayor has been in the news lately in regards to an email he sent that claimed some people in New Berlin are prejudiced and bigoted. While I do not condone the language used, I can understand his frustration with some of his residents, more on this in a minute.
It looks like some people in New Berlin are taking issue with the New Berlin City Center. So much so, that the Mayor's family is being verbally attacked. Going after somebody's family is not acceptable and is totally uncalled for. This project was approved by the New Berlin Planning Commisioin 10 years ago. The vote was 3 to 2. From what I have read, the developer has had the project approved from the beginning. This is like a permitting issue, if your neighborhood is zoned for sheds, as long as you build a shed to code, you can build a shed even if your neighbors don't like it. If the residents don't like low income people then you can't build apartments in an area zoned to build apartments? Where were these people at from the beginning of the process? Did they not have public notice of the public hearing? Did they move to the community after the approval?
My understanding of the frustration that the Mayor comes from a fact that has had very little ink or airtime. I know that there a young lady who grew up in New Berlin, went to New Berlin schools, volunteers in New Berlin, in other words she is somebody any community would like to have remain in the community. The young lady has now grown and would like to live in New Berlin. Oh and by the way, this young lady has Down syndrome.
When the issue first came up, a public hearing was held on the subject and a few residents did show up and voiced their opposition to parts of the project. The residents were very much "not in my backyard".
Then this young lady stated her case in front of the group in attendence. I have seen a video of her argument allowing her to live in these apartments. She argued that the location was ideal for her because most everything that she needs is within walking distance of the City Center. The only thing really missing is public transportation. I guess New Berlin does not have much of a public transportation system, but that is another story for another day. By living in the center of everything, then this young lady will be spending her money in New Berlin, sounds like a good tax paying citizen to me.
After she stated her case, many residents indicated people with developmental disabilities should be able to live in the New Berlin City Center. They were also OK with the seniors living there as well. Many were supportive of people living in the City where they were born and grew up. For those who do not want people with developmental disabilities in their community, then this is plain and simple discrimination. Here is where I see the Mayor using the term prejudiced and bigoted.
It is my understanding that people are concerned that his would be Section 8 Housing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_8_(housing). I was told that the project falls under Section 42 Housing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-Income_Housing_Tax_Credit.. The New Belin City Center is mixed income housing.
As my son Tyler grows into adulthood, I am going to look for housing for him. Tyler was born in Cudahy, He goes to Cudahy schools. He plays baseball in Cudahy. Tyler knows Cudahy and many in Cudahy know Tyler. If he so chooses, he has a right to live in Cudahy or any place else for that matter.
I have spoken to the young lady's father in regards to housing. Although Tyler will be only turning 13 in a month or so, I have already begun thinking about this part of his future. Many of you are probably thinking about college for your kids. I have chosen to think about housing.
So I ask you, would you support a project in Cudahy that included Section 42 Housing or would you be one of those "not in my backyard"?