Real Solutions lawn signs

posted by Mike on May 10th, 2006

IMG_0227Real Solutions unveiled their new lawn signs today with a kick-off event at Newton Square.

The goal of Real Solutions is to “change the climate” of hostility towards the poor in Worcester. Among the signs they see of this climate are the city’s anti-panhandling campaign, the hatefulness of some views expressed on social program siting, and the city’s empty anti-PIP rhetoric.

KNIT Worcester, Site ResponsibleThe lawn signs say “Target Povery not People” and “We’re all Responsible.” (The capitalization here is a little weird, but at least it’s not as bad as the misspelled KNIT Worcester “Site Responsible” signs.)

Barbara KohinJohn FordAdria BernardiBob Batchelder
Four people spoke at the event: Newton Square residents Barbara Kohin, John Ford, and Adria Bernardi, and Rev. Robert Batchelder of the Worcester Area Missionary Society.

Rev. Batchelder spoke of the French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, which sheltered Jews during WWII. When the police asked if the town was sheltering Jews, the minister of the town is said to have replied, “We don’t know any Jews. We only know men.” Rev. Batchelder said that Worcester should say we don’t know any deserving poor or undeserving poor, we don’t know any taxpayers or deadbeats, we only know people.

John Ford started by saying, “This issue to me is simple. It’s about social justice and compassion.” He then quoted Pope John Paul as saying that helping the poor is for the Christian not mere charity, but an encounter with Christ in the faces of the poor.

One of the people at the press conference told me that state Rep. Bob Spillane drove by, and when he saw the signs shook his head unhappily.

If you live in Worcester and want a sign for your lawn, e-mail pieandcoffee@gmail.com.

Postscript

Lead of T&G article:

While the majority of city residents are not against social services, the debate in Worcester is dominated by the louder voices of extremists, according to Real Solutions member Michael Benedetti.

Well, I never said the majority of people in the city are not against social services. I think I said something like: the majority of people in the city are not motivated by fear and ignorance, on this issue. But whatever. Perfect example of why, when speaking to the press with the expectation of being quoted briefly, you should repeat one or two sound bites over and over.

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