Please read Tami Miller’s words that were posted on Feeding the State St. Family Facebook group and then tell me, won’t you be there today at 4:30 if you can!
I have never been to a protest before, by nature I am a behind the scenes “do-er” ….brought up by parents that taught me to respect police and authority, to follow the law, and to be slow to anger.
I spend my energy helping solve the problems I see with action and practical help. But yesterday, after hugging 7 homeless people who had all of their worldly possessions thrown out into a garbage truck by police…. I can no longer sit idly by and watch while the city, my city systematically punishes the very poor. You can cite instances and rationalize away some of the reasoning for the panhandling ban, the city’s denial or at the very least delay of a warming shelter in winter, the policies of sheltering agencies that ban people from emergency shelter and limit its availability even in extreme weather conditions, even give some seemingly valid reasons for throwing out 7 people’s sleeping bags and backpacks.
The Mayor was just quoted a week ago saying “it’s not the city’s problem…”
But I am saying it’s the city’s REALITY.
I see between 100-200 people who sleep outside each night in this city…on the street, in the woods, in their cars, in tents…. And I am going to this rally because of them….I am going for the United States Veterans I know that sleep off of Carol Street, I am going for the kids who do their homework by flashlight in the tent they live in or the dome light of the car their family sleeps in… I am going for the mentally Ill woman who washes her hair in the capitol bathroom and sleeps on a bench on state street….I am going for the kids who work as telemarketers, or buss tables, and work fast food, the man who drives taxi 7 days a week, the guys who stand in line hoping to get a job for the day as day laborers…who do what we tell them to and still can’t make it. I am going for my friend D who was in the hospital when they threw out his things, for my friend S who is pregnant and sleeping outside, yet still trying to go to MATC to make a better life for her baby….I am going for the people who have fallen through our safety net, people who are trying to survive day by day…people who have lost everything but the clothes on their body.
I cannot in good conscience stand by and wait until another homeless friend dies of hypothermia on Madison’s streets this winter. I won’t go to another funeral at Bethel Lutheran (the only church in Madison to do free funeral services for our homeless friends) and listen to a sermon about how “God has not forgotten you…” I won’t watch another grown man try not to cry in front of me because, despite his best efforts…he can’t make it on his own…and the thought of trying to survive another winter makes him want to give up and just die.
I love these people so I DEMAND better for them. Please join me at 4:30 on the City-County Building steps on Martin Luther King Blvd. if you demand better too.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”- Edmund Burke
Thank you Tami for your wonderful heart, endless energy and all the lives that you touch. Thank you for treating my new friends and so many others with the dignity and respect that they deserve and for touching the lives of so many, in so many ways! You are my hero.
Categories: | Dane | Madison | Media