Worried about thugs in affordable housing

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I have to disagree with the "Yes, to affordable housing" [Our Views, Viewpoints, July 18]. I just moved back to Oak Park after 35 years. I'm all for diversity. When homeowners pay very high taxes, they expect safety and good schools. If the Oak Park/Van Buren proposed townhouses have affordable housing, they need occupancy limits. I want to walk safely without feeling menaced by thugs. I don't want to subsidize families when I struggle to support myself. I support diversity of like-minded people of any race or religion, people who work hard and treat others with respect.

Kath Schulz 

Oak Park 

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Christopher Bell  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 5:32 PM

Who is the smart money?? Buy overpriced house, watch price collapse , pay crazy property taxes for schools which are declining. Or people who get in for one month security deposit and get all the same rights?? They are the smart ones ...When I graduated in 1986 from oprf it was ranked top 10 in state and many of my class (fellow brothers) ended up at excellent schools. Last published report shows oprf got 3 students into top 10ivy league schools ... by way of comparison Whitney Young had 23 and St. Ignatius has 15 - Point being you can't fault people for taking advantage of great opportunity.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 4:40 PM

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Emma Lazarus

Christopher Bell  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 2:23 PM

Mrs Schulz ire should be focused on the OP Board not the tenants who are simply trying to build a better life for their family (and should never be faulted). OP has dug itself into a budget position where it needs to add 1000-2000 apartments to avoide raising taxes significantly. The irony is adding 10% more population has real impact on school/cllsss size, parking, infrastructure etc. OP is at critical point with significant risks -

Christopher Bell  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 1:43 PM

Holding the poor title and thug/race issue aside, the comment is really about class/equity. The core issue some of us paying $20-30,000 a year in property tax feel there is a free rider effect from growing apartments - and the impact on education etc. Certainly understand why people in apartments are offended as well as angst that home owners have - the good news is OAK PArk is one of the few communities that has enormous economic diversity and makes it work - We have $5M homes and section 8 housing and all get along. Regarding thugs - there are black, Hispanic and white thugs - again, about class more than race.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 1:20 PM

Enlightenment seems the better route. Ms. Schulz, thugs are a thread in the Body Politic and have been for a very long time, since Cain killed Abel and no doubt before some cave man clubbed his neighbor to death. It's almost Scriptural, akin to the passage "The poor you will always have with you...". It's as if 'the thugs you will always have with you'. It just seems like at the ratcheted up level of violence in the Nation and World that there is an irruption of thugs. ("Irruption" - "a sudden upsurge in numbers especially when natural ecological balances and checks are disturbed". Many of us are fearful for our children and even ourselves. There was a man shooting off a gun in a house recently in south Oak Park, it made the local news. He was not in affordable housing!! There are thugs in Congress even, but they are dressed up in suits, are polite appear acting respectable. There are thugs on the road doing road rage and thugs in state and local government, wolves in sheeps' clothing, so to speak. There are thugs, predators, in business scams and other exploitation of citizens and the elderly. It is as if they are reproducing at a higher rate than the rest of us who prefer not to encounter thugs. If there is some way to get the thugs under control instead of letting them bully their way through life in neighborhoods in Chicago, suburbs, and around the country and world, and you have some good idea how to stop them, please...anyone, speak up. It would be good to have an effective and comprehensive plan.

Leslie Stevens  

Posted: September 18th, 2018 8:50 AM

Kath - child molestors live in Oak Park - in expensive homes and pay high taxes!!

Jenna Leving Jacobson from Oak Park, IL   

Posted: September 17th, 2018 7:08 PM

Since many neighbors have already pointed to the obvious racism in this letter, I will just add that the author blatantly, and offensively associates non-homeowners with crime. Only high tax-paying homeowners deserve safety and good schools? How is such a view of one's neighbors an example of "treating others with respect"? Kath Schulz has taken her opposition to affordable housing to a hateful place, and I doubt many in this community are so "like-minded" with such" disdain for those who cannot afford Oak Park property taxes.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 6:15 PM

Tanya: I kinda agree with your overall sentiment, but please spare me the "Because people don't go around calling other people who aren't black thugs." Well that's news to me. I certainly do. My friends do as well. A thug is defined by behavior and not skin color.

Tanya Smith from Oak Park  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 5:43 PM

It is very rude title. Who are you referring to? There is crime EVERYWHERE! There is racial discrimation in Oak Park and in the schools.. Have that been addressed? I'm very offended! Because people don't go around calling other people who aren't black thugs. Everyone has their opinion. I'm scared around ALL races that look threatening to me. Because it's not just black, it's other races out here that are doing crime as well.

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 4:15 PM

The Wednesday Journal posted this, and why?

Jacek Lazarczyk  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 4:03 PM

Cheers, Bruce!

Bruce Kline  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 3:28 PM

Well Jacek, this is indeed a pleasant surprise. This is the first time your and I are in 100% agreement. Glad that at least you and I agree on the intent of the First (even if the WJ is not bound by the First).

Ellen Edwards from Oak Park   

Posted: September 17th, 2018 3:27 PM

Alice Caputo, I agree with you that Kath Schulz' comments show a gross misunderstanding of affordable housing and fear of the unknown. People in need of affordable housing are not thugs and should be made to feel welcome in our village, our state, and our nation. I also think we all should remember that free speech - even repugnant comments and headlines - is protected by our Constitution.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 2:39 PM

I, too, want to "walk safely without feeling menaced by thugs"! That's why I avoid living in places like Oak Brook, Highland Park and Lake Forest, where I don't have to be taunted by bullying white Republican teenage boys, otherwise known as fascists-in-training. They're simply dreadful. If some of these creatures have been threatening the writer she should immediately notify the authorities. I hope there aren't any in Oak Park!

Andrew Pat  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 2:18 PM

@Alice Caputo - you are free to respond the writer however you think appropriate. In the same vein, others are free to do the same, and to vehemently reject someone who refers to low income residents as "thugs." I get your instinct to protect the letter writer, but one cannot publish a letter like that and expect everyone to be "nice" to them in response. I think you need to redirect your advice here to the letter writer, and suggest that THEY err on the side of kindness when it comes to affordable housing residents. Also, "diversity of like-minded people." That's sad.

Kent Dean  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 2:16 PM

Racist dog whistle? How about over-amped bullhorn announcing one's retrograde attitudes.

Jacek Lazarczyk  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 1:20 PM

Be careful what you wish for, Christina Sellis Loranz. The moment Wednesday Journal starts limiting publication of comments/opinions only deemed worthy by like-mined readers like yourself, we are toast. We will have a false sense of comfort when there is no opinion to get angry about.

Alice Caputo  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 1:18 PM

First of all, OP.com creates the headlines to letters so they tried to stir things up as click bait. I clearly do not share the view of the writer, however, I don't see the malicious intent of this letter. I see a gross misunderstanding of affordable housing and fear of the unknown. Perhaps posters could approach this letter as if you were speaking to someone's grandmother who is misinformed because that is what is sounds like to me. I could be wrong but erroring on the side of kindness isn't a bad idea in most cases.

Aisha Coleman  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 12:39 PM

Kath S. maybe you should "go back where you came from" "people like you aren't welcome in OUR community" But yeah... really... you should probably move with your racist crap.

Jackie Pingel from Oak Park  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 11:51 AM

What a disappointing comment. The use of the word "thug" which is coded language for "Black" and/or "Brown". This letter to the editor is racist, and it's disappointing that the Journal found it fitting to publish it. I understand the publication of ideas that differ from mine, but not providing a free and easy platform from which one is allowed to spew her racism.

Christina Sellis Loranz  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 11:08 AM

Wednesday Journal, is there no selection process for which letters you decide to publish? Can literally anyone write anything and get a platform to spread their ignorant views. I'm really sad that this was deemed worthy of publishing.

Beverly Denise  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 10:58 AM

I worry about people with this viewpoint living around me. How dare you characterize low income people as "thugs??!!" That mentality is what perpetuates stereotypes.

Charity Anne Caldwell from Oak Park  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 10:43 AM

In addition to the terrible "thug" characterization of people with low incomes, what is "like-minded", to you?! Diversity of like-minded people - this seems contradictory.

Andrew Pat  

Posted: September 17th, 2018 10:06 AM

So that begs the question -- why are the higher income residents of Oak Park subsidizing YOU? You say you're struggling to support yourself -- just like the low income "thugs" you speak of. But the people who pay the most in taxes in this community have worked hard and, according to you, shouldn't have to also pay for or live around the likes of lesser income folks like you. You should move so they don't have to.

Rob Breymaier  

Posted: September 13th, 2018 12:22 PM

This must be a joke right? Because if it isn't then please understand that your views are repugnant and contrary to values that are central to Oak Park. If you don't want to llve in a community where affordable housing is a priority, you should probably move out of Oak Park again.

Jhontia Williams  

Posted: July 30th, 2018 11:26 PM

I literally just stumbled upon this post... Oh my Kath Schulz! It's quite shocking that your view on the world and diversity is so drastically limited. Just because one is in need of affordable housing does not mean they are thugs and criminals. Income does not dictate character, e.g. Bernie Madoff, etc. You love OP for diversity, but only certain types? Gender, Sexuality, Race, Religion but not Economic...ugh!

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