The vital and the essential versus the official and the political…well, when these factors come to a head and meet in the mass media, the press, and the community consciousness, it is time for civil (yes, CIVIL) discussion.
Certainly it is not the time for issues such as race and making threats of any kind to take over and reduce the importance of this project. It is not the amount of money involved for making the project work, though the thought of spending over $100 million is a tasty tidbit for people in suffering communities in Chicago who want and desperately need those funds to bring business and improvement to their areas.
“Race” has far too long been a thorn in the side of the American conscience, and when that little demon of the mind gets in the way of building and maintaining, designing and restoring our infrastructure, when it gets in the way of community service and involvement and improvement, then we have gone too far in allowing the demographers such power over our minds and our budgets. “Race” as skin color- no more, and not valid, and not welcome here! We are the human race, and that is all there is to it, no more and no less.
And we need to work together. The news circulating all over the Chicago area about the Flyover project is proof of that.
The purpose of this very important project is to relieve train congestion on a few tracks that serve dozens of trains a day- METRA, AMTRAK, and freights. Everyone would benefit from the success of such a project. Customer service for the trains would certainly improve, so products would make it to market in a timely fashion and commuters/ travelers would make it to their destinations with fewer delays.
As for how the community would improve, one vital thing we would see certainly would be unity, drawing everyone together to make the area safer and more secure, more inviting for education, learning, businesses, and residents all around. Residents would no doubt band together to make things better, and I believe they want the improvements to happen, the economics of the project to become real for them, the millions of dollars translating into safety, jobs, educational opportunities, more local businesses, and a safer atmosphere in which to live, worship, work and play.
Work together, everybody. See beyond your own official seat, your own interests, your photo-ops and possible financial gains. Look at the people- look into the faces of the people- this project will benefit. Look at the young folks, the students, the kids who will grow up and learn to maintain the infrastructure, the workers who know how essential a proper infrastructure is, and the business owner who looks forward to having better roads, improved rail service, and tourism dollars coming in. Look, listen, and make every effort to understand- everyone is counting on this project.
Divi and EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, 2012.
- Chicago Alderman “predicts” violence unless blacks are given preferential treatment in MERTA project (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- Pols line up to help Rush increase minority contracts on Metra project (suntimes.com)
- Rep. Bobby Rush: I’ll stop Metra ‘in its tracks’ (suntimes.com)