Stop negative talk about east Gainesville

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.

I recently learned that the city of Gainesville Plan Board voted to deny to allow an office of the Florida Department of Corrections to occupy a building on NE 1st street within close proximity to the Duck Pond community.

I understand that at the meeting, there was some inference given to east Gainesville, with the distinction that it is a community that tolerates illegal drugs. I cannot help but think about the words put into the universe implying that east Gainesville is inundated with an overflow of drugs and a community of criminals.

This assertion causes me grave consternation. East Gainesville is home to many working and retired professionals who desire the same quality of life as any other citizen in this community.

The community has made much progress, but we realize that there is much more to be done; however, it is attitudes such as what was voiced at the meeting that will cripple the progress in the community. It is also very disapproving for some individuals to attend meetings in east Gainesville and communities of color and speak despairingly about a portion of a community due to economics and other factors that result in an unequal playing field.

I also want to emphasize my disappointment of persons looking at communities that are economically disadvantaged as being characterized as drug-ridden communities. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "March on Washington," where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech, let us not get caught up with words and stereotypes that depict the past.

Let's plan for the future and make all of Gainesville, including east Gainesville, a more vibrant city for all.

Rosa B. Williams,


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