Like any city, Hamilton has neighbourhoods that need some extra love, but it doesn't mean they should have to stay that way.
By Kirkendall Resident
Published March 09, 2018
To the individuals who are responsible for the terror and destruction on Locke Street last Saturday, and to those who have been vandalizing other small businesses and developments in the city over the past years including along Barton, James North and King Street, let me just come right out and say it: as proud Hamilton residents, we will not stand for this.
I am what you describe as a "yuppie gentrifier" - and you know what, you're right I am! But I am not the villain and neither are my neighbours and small business owners.
Sure, I haven't lived here my entire life. I moved to Hamilton in the early 2000s when I was 19 to go to school. In that time, I have been lucky to see this city evolve and to be a part of the evolution.
I used to live on the west side of McMaster in a single room student apartment. From Monday to Friday, I would wake up early to catch the bus downtown and then catch my next bus up to Mohawk College.
Just like in the present, Gore Park had its rough spots, but back then, even as a young man, it was often an uncomfortable place to wait for a bus - especially at night after a late class or group meeting. My objective was to wait quietly and not draw attention to myself.
Like any city, Hamilton has neighbourhoods that need some extra love, but it doesn't mean they should have to stay that way. For Hamilton to continue to grow and prosper on the path it is currently on, you need investment. You need small business and big business alike, entrepreneurs, risk takers, and hard working individuals. You need empty storefronts filled and derelict buildings rejuvenated.
I cannot understand your point of view. If you want to be "ungovernable," how about you move to a country where the government has failed, corruption and violence run rampant and citizens have no right to upward mobility. You moonlight "anti-capitalists" have no idea how good you have it in Canada.
I choose to contribute to the city I love by working for a local employer who employs me along with more than 60 other people and pays a fair wage.
Before my current employment, I worked up to three jobs to support myself and my family and that included working for a non-profit organization in the same Gore Park that I once stood in while waiting for my bus to Mohawk College many years ago. I worked with disadvantaged and marginalized people and understand the struggle that many individuals have to support themselves and their families.
As a society, we need to do more to help marginalized individuals and communities, but I also have a right as a citizen to work my hardest to improve my own situation for both me and my family along the way. This is the right of any individual in this country - even you self-proclaimed anti-capitalists.
As someone in my early 30s, I'm lucky to own a home. I live in Kirkendall neighbourhood with my wife and our young child - the same neighbourhood you chose to target this past Saturday evening. Just because we live where we do, that doesn't immediately make us the privileged individuals you so claim that we are.
Like many others in our generation, we lived with family for years (seven years to be exact) to save up for a down payment. We made a lot of sacrifices to get where we are now, and we have to make careful choices with our money.
We don't drive fancy cars or take luxury vacations. We are regular working people doing everything we can every day to make our lives and the lives of people around us better.
Just something you can think about the next time you decide to throw a rock through a window.
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