Actions speak louder than words, but local affordable housing organizations are speaking out against the recent vandalism of 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno’s office saying the crime achieves nothing.
The crime was committed last week leaving Moreno’s office with smashed windows and scribbled lettering spelling out the word “gentrifier.” The Chicago Housing Initiative, which is made up of 10 housing organizations committed to affordable housing, wrote a letter saying the vandals “have named a problem that is real but taken a course of action that lacks vision and provides no leadership,” according to DNAinfo.
The letter described that while the group does feel there is a problem in housing, the solution is not to terrorize local officials.
“Yes, an unregulated housing market is going to wreak havoc on all communities where developers see a profit potential, and yes, profit potential in an unfettered capital system is synonymous with displacement.
Communities that can be flipped are communities that can be profited from,” the letter reads. “But smashing windows doesn’t transform. It doesn’t educate, it doesn’t call us together or build our capacity to make change. It just scapegoats a single public official for a broken system, very little of which he has control or influence over.”
The letter instead proposed that people upset or concerned with the situation should come together to fight for things like inclusionary zoning to bring affordable housing to the area, according to DNAinfo.
The group wrote that demonizing a single alderman is not the solution and pretending one person is the problem is also not helpful.
“Carrying out a campaign to demonize a single aldermen for the impact of free market forces will do very little to change the material circumstances of the families with whom we organize,” the letter reads.
The group said Moreno is one of the few aldermen fighting for affordable housing in the city and that citizens need to think bigger to solve their problems. It is still unclear who vandalized Moreno’s office, thought he posted the letter of support on both his Facebook and Twitter, according to DNAinfo.