Letter to the Editor: 'Low Income' Gets a Bad Rap
A Cinnaminson Harbour resident responds to some comments made about the housing complex after a drug deal stabbing occurred there recently.
To the editor:
I wanted to write this to address the perceived stereotypes surrounding “low and moderate income” people in light of the recent comments made on Patch relating to the stabbing in the Cinnaminson Harbour development.
There seems to be a perceived idea in our society that if you are “low to moderate income” that you are automatically up to no good and therefore do not belong in our town. You see this all over, not just in Cinnaminson.
In 1970, a woman by the name of Ethel Lawrence had the courage to fight Mt. Laurel. The lawsuit Ethel Lawrence brought against Mt. Laurel has had a profound impact on the obligations towns have in providing for housing for those that are considered “low to moderate income.”
Some have argued that the Mt. Laurel decision has been an unfunded mandate by the courts and have cost towns untold amounts of money. I am not here to argue that point. What I am here to say is that everybody has the right to live and grow up in an environment free of intimidation—in an environment where their kids are free to play without being threatened—in an environment where they have a real opportunity to grow and learn. This is the same opportunity that many kids have had here in Cinnaminson over the years.
What has disturbed me in recent days with the comments posted is somehow those people living in the apartments that are “low to moderate income” must be responsible for the stabbing. This stereotype is exactly why we have the Mt. Laurel decision. I am standing up to those of you in our community who have this perceived notion that these people, in particular these kids, don’t deserve to be raised in the same fashion in the same town that you were raised in. The issues we are facing in our community transcend any socio-economic boundaries. The problems we are facing comes down to parents! It doesn’t matter where you live how much money you make.
It truly takes a village these days. I encourage you all to take an interest in your neighbors. If you know a single mother who is struggling to raise her children, I encourage you to stand next to her and offer your assistance. If you have children, take an interest in what they do. As a community, we need to come together and unite as one. Together we can make a difference!
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