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An answer to Jennifer and friends
Make sure you read Jen and Charlie's posts here and here which detail State Rep Angel Cruz's proposed legislation to ban needle exchange programs from operating within 500 feet of a residence or school.
Then read the reply from a staffer for Rep Cruz below.
My favorite part is the implication that Jen is writing anonymously. As many of you know, Jen Murphy is the current chair of Philly for Change, and she worked very hard, and very publicly, to help elect Maria Quinones-Sanchez in the 7th City Council district.
I read your reply you sent me at Representative Cruz’s office, you mentioned the Philadelphia Zoo as the closest location to your home, the admission would cost $18.00 per person, (by the way the admission to the Zoo in January and February is based on the daily temperature) luckily for us I found the Philadelphia Art Museum, right down the street form your house, and admission is whatever you want to pay on Sundays. If by chance the Representatives bill does not pass, are you willing to let Prevention Point use your address? Or maybe the six other people, who had comments, would be willing to allow the use of their addresses, at least the ones who live in Philadelphia.
Jennifer, you said banning the needle exchange program is reactionary and short sighted; the Representative is not banning the program. He is trying to stop the distribution of needles in residential areas in his district. I live within the area that the needles are given out, I’ve walked the streets at the sight of the mobile vans, there are thousands of needles on the ground, in the grass, on the steps of homes, by the railroad under pass there are so many empty needle package bags they were unable to be counted.
In Charles NJ post 1/24/08, “While I don’t think the problem is as bad as it is being made out, 1 needle on the street is 1 too many.” Well Charlie, you apparently have not been at the site. You say in response to his posting, “Charlie’s post is right on, I do not want to minimize the concerns of parents about used syringes, but Charlie points out what should be the response to such a problem, Security Agents, increased Police patrols around the sites and neighborhood associations.” It all sounds nice but its pie in the sky thinking. Security agents – drug addicts shot up in front of Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Joe G and his camera man earlier this fall when I went on a walk through of the site area.
Increased Police Patrols – Mayor Streets Safe Street program worked as long as the City had the money, if you can’t occupy Iraq with billions of dollars, how is Philadelphia going to do it.
Neighborhood Associations – Why should the local Town Watch and Civic Group clean up the mess? They and the residents of the 7th Ward and 180th District have no say in this program.
But maybe if it was a Casino, like in the middle-upper class neighborhoods, then you would feel our pain.
This program gives free needles out to drug addicted persons to stop the spread of AIDS; it does not help the addict to free themselves from addiction. In the process you work hand in hand with the drug dealers to make our neighborhood a One Stop Shopping Center for drug use.
Do not be fooled, a large percentage of users come from all over the City and beyond, the bottom line is the citizens of West Kensington are acceptable casualties in you war on AIDS. It seems you care not that the children in my neighborhoods are trapped in their homes because parents fear for their safety and their health. I hope this attitude is mistaken ignorance but it seems to me to be economic fascism. The upper class is going to force a policy on us because we are lower class and working poor and the majority are Spanish speaking citizens who should be quite and shut up.
I gave you my office number, but like Prevention Point, you will not call, nor have any of the people who posted comments. You do not seem to be interested in hearing the Representatives side of this argument.
As to the comments posted;
Dan U-A – “Holy crap.” God had nothing to do with this, it’s a man made catastrophe dropped in the middle of West Kensington.
Ray Murphy – “Outrageous reply.” The arrogance of you deciding the fate of my neighbors and myself is test book fascism.
Kati Sipp – “That is really quite offensive.” Seems like it only applies to your neighborhood not mine.
D.E.II – “To be fired.” So much for free speech, but then fascists never were much for free speech.
Prove me wrong, pick up the phone, 215-291-5643, talk to me, stop hiding behind your poison post on youngphillypolitics.com, start a real dialog, come to the District and see with your own eyes. Here’s an idea, instead of an executive order to give out needles, issue a new order giving all pharmacies in Philadelphia to sell needles without a prescription, this way addicts do not have to come to West Kensington to get their needles. The money that Prevention Point uses on the needle give away could be used to help the addicts get into detox programs and this would free Prevention Point to visit all neighborhoods, rich or poor.