Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Actions must match Mayor Seiler's Words

Still watching and waiting after a back-n-forth between myself and Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Jack Seiler. 

He has expressed over and over that he does care about the homeless in his city. I truly want to believe him, but I need to see actions match words. We all do. As he sent me his latest reply shown here, Can the Homeless Feeding Fiasco in Fort Lauderdale Teach Us All?" the following was going on.

On November 17th, IfYouOnlyNews.com published this story;

Ft. Lauderdale Spends $25,000 Of Taxpayer Money To Bus Homeless Out Of Town

Under fire from all directions over the recent arrest and citing of three persons, a 90 year-old-vet, and two pastors (more than once) for feeding the homeless, it looks now, by this action, that the city of Fort Lauderdale has decided if they just bus the homeless out of town, they'll become someone else's problem, and maybe, just maybe, it will take the focus off of them. This is the equivalent of sweeping a mess under a rug, rolling that rug up, and tossing onto the side of the road two miles away from one's house in the hope that no one notices. Mayor Seiler told the Sun Sentinel, “We’re not pushing them out. If somebody has a network of support, a group of family and friends that will provide for them back home, that’s probably a good place for them to be.”

I ended our conversation with suggesting that the mayor sit down with Mr. Arnold Abbott (the vet arrested publicly for feeding the homeless outside and away from 'designated' areas), and talk with him hear his side, and come to a compromise that helps everyone do the right thing. Because, as I pointed out previously in quoting Aristotle, sometimes being a good citizen and a good man is not the same thing. In this case, being the good citizen means ignoring the needs of people who may not be able to get to these special, designated areas. And as I also stated before, what is the difference between feeding strangers at a public park and feeding friends and family at the same public part via a picnic or barbecue? Neither of these last two requires compliance with city regulations for food safety. 

Mayor Seiler, the world is STILL watching. Busing the homeless out of town doesn't solve the problem of homelessness, and it doesn't solve your problem, sir, either. This reeks of desperation. Stop. Breathe. Rethink, and take my suggestion to sit down with Mr. Abbott, and also those two pastors cited for feeding the homeless. It's time for a Food Summit. It's time to accept that there are people in need, and enlist the community, who obviously want to help,...enlist them in aiding with this issue in a way that actually helps the homeless. You gave me quite a list of programs in place specifically for the homeless population. Well? Help these community leaders help the homeless. LEAD! Stop just reacting. 




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