About Us Email Updates
[  ]


Thursday, April 24, 2014
1 1


Last Updated: 24 February 2014
Printable version
Cass: Diversifying makeup of our neighborhoods is good

By Ann Cass
Ann Cass

McALLEN, February 24 - After the McAllen City Commissioners’ workshop two weeks ago on the proposed project of the McAllen Housing Authority, a precious little girl, appearing to be around 10 years of age, stood with a sign in front of Commissioner Crane.

Her sign read, “I am a child from a low income family. I am a nice person.” My heart broke as I watched her encounter him and wondered what was going through her mind as she listened to the discussion.

I often define “sin” as having a bad memory, as so many of the residents I know in north McAllen, where I live, come from very humble backgrounds, many having grown up in the colonias themselves.

For my Commissioner Scott Crane to make a comment about his opposition to the McAllen Housing Authority project because it brings a density of low income people to his district and it would be better to build it in the southern districts of the City where it could raise property values is typical of what NIMBYism [not in my back yard] is all about.

The argument is not about the architectural design of the buildings, the artistic renderings are beautiful. The argument is really not about density. If they were being sold as condos to middle class families there would be no argument, including the impact on schools. The argument is about the families being working poor people, and as Mr. Crane wrote, “and the tenants bring with them the adversities that brought them there.” This mentality disregards the fact that the Housing Authority has strict control over the maintenance, upkeep, and eligibility for the participating families.

As a citizen of McAllen for over 33 years, I was embarrassed and saddened that Henry Flores felt the need to remove his proposal because he did not want families living in something he built not to be welcomed.

One thing I have learned from my work with low income families, they have a lot to teach us about hospitality and caring for their neighbor. They share from the little they have. We need to give them a chance to benefit from these Housing Authority rental units. They are working in our community as teachers’ aids, health care providers, etc., even in north McAllen.

Let’s give them the opportunity to live where they work. Let’s start doing as HUD recommends, diversifying the makeup of our neighborhoods. We can learn so much from each other. Most importantly, let’s show all our children from the way we speak and act, especially the little girl with the sign, that their dignity and the respect due them is not dependent on how much money their parents make.

Ann Cass works with low-income families in the housing arena. She is a resident of McAllen.

Write Ann Cass

Printable version

Acevedo: The Generic Latino

López: Happy First Texas Independence Day (April 6, 1813)

Seifert: The Beast

Harrington: Labor leader César Chávez's impact reached beyond abused farm hands

Nicol: Arresting Babies on the Border

López: An open letter to The History Channel

López: Sam Houston took over a work in progress

Lisa Garcia birthday tribute takes place on Wednesday

Cass: Diversifying makeup of our neighborhoods is good

Miller: How the Kallisons Became American – The Story of a Family, their Store, and their Adopted City

López: The Forgotten Fourteen Freedom Fighters of Texas

Aguilar boosts Mercedes' marketing effort

Obituary for Oscar Garza

López: ˇViva Santa Ana!

López: Mrs. Reed’s Christmas Tree

Seifert: Socializing Poverty

Ortiz: Appalling detention conditions for children in Hidalgo County; judges need to act

Bishop Flores: Border wall is a 'psychological scar' for South Texas

Bishop Flores: Immigration reform needs to happen at hemispheric level

Garza: Front page material, here in San Juan

López: United we win, divided we lose

Mounce: Easter Hope: Blum in Autumn