I was a bit surprised how two Madison City Council members seemingly went out of their way to undermine low-income people living on the north side of the city.
In a front page article in the Wisconsin State Journal it was stated low-income families near Truax Field may not be aware of the public process now underway for stationing a squadron of F-35s in the city. Council members Rebecca Kemble and Marsha Rummel have wondered if the people nearest to Truax are aware of the plans.
They said low-income families who live on the North Side near Truax Field may not learn about the F-35s until it’s too late because the military is notifying the public through a few newspaper advertisements, social media notices, mailings to people who sign up for them, and posters tacked up in community centers, grocery stores and gas stations.
When I read that paragraph my first reaction was “tin-ear politics at its worst.”
I find it really demeaning to people who may not have the niceties that many others have obtained to be labeled–in essence–too unable to obtain news and information. Being ‘low-income’ does not mean an inability to listen to radio news, follow local happenings on television, or reading the local newspaper. To make it sound that poor people need something akin to a loudspeaker on a truck driving up and down streets alerting all to the news of the neighborhood is truly disgusting.
I understand there are some elected officials who wish that no military presence existed in any shape or form at Truax. They realize that every major politician in the state has endorsed the Pentagon decision to locate the squadron here. They grasp the fact an economic lift to our city will take place with these jets being placed here. So they need to gin up any source of opposition they can find. Though their opposition will be futile they will not stop in their efforts.
And it is most certainly their right to make their points.
But to use low-income people in such a demeaning way is not the manner that any discussions in our city should take place. We are better than what these alders strongly implied about low-income people.