Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
Diversity… is not a fish that you can catch.
The 2019 poverty line for a family of four is set at a paltry $25,750. Did you know that 7.4% of Cheshire’s population lives at or below 150% of the poverty line? 2% of our children live below the poverty line, and more than 3% of our seniors.
On the contrary, our median household income is more than 2.5 times that of cities like Bridgeport and New Haven.
The fear that is radiating through portions of our town about the new apartment units being built at the corner of Route 10 and Higgins comes from a place of just that … fear. Only when the collective skin color of our town is at risk of turning darker do people suddenly start caring about the nuances of traffic patterns, or the so-called ‘aesthetic’ of our grand list.
Socioeconomic diversity is already here and has been for many years. While it might not be innately visible, we already have low-income families living here. These are our neighbors, our friends, our family. Do we blame them for increases in car break-ins? Do we blame them for hurting our home values?
We don’t, because they are white. If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t fear diversity. It’s already here. We fear racial diversity, and that’s wrong.
We need to embrace affordable housing and welcome those families when they arrive. People want to live here. They want to be a part of our wonderful town. They want to educate their kids here, vote for our leaders, shop in our stores, and pay our taxes. This is a good thing. This is a wonderful thing.
If you find yourself amongst the outspoken few who have voiced their opinions on this so loudly, I would invite you to dig deep and find your true motivation. What is driving you to be so afraid?
Diversity is not a fish that you can catch, because it’s already here.