[Hpn] To Be Poor In New York : Five letters to the editor

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sun, 16 Oct 2005 04:29:05 -0400


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/opinion/nyregionopinions/l16city.html

To Be Poor in New York: A Family's Story (5 Letters)

Published: October 16, 2005
To the Editor:

The mother and her five children described in "Nickels and Dimes" (Oct. 9) 
should be commended for the love and hard work that allow them to function 
so well in difficult circumstances.

But it is worth noting that this mother was a mature adult when she had her 
children. Being a good parent begins with recognizing the responsibility to 
provide for a child. Poverty levels would decline significantly if people 
would refrain from having more children than they can reasonably expect to 
support.

N. L. Freeman
Brooklyn

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To the Editor:

Was this article written to elicit sympathy? Nilda Louisa has had five 
children with two different men. She has not trained to be able to support 
her kids. She works a few hours a week, but receives a city rent subsidy, a 
welfare check and food stamps, paid for by the taxpayers.

She is able to buy junk food from a fast food restaurant. The family has a 
good supply of Xbox video games, cable TV and a computer that she feels she 
must repair or her children cannot do their homework.

Her being home every day has not kept her daughter from criminal activity or 
her son from acting out in class.

No amount of government help or public sympathy will help her overcome the 
consequences of her own actions.

Vivienne Koreto
Upper East Side





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To the Editor:

Nilda Louisa's story is emblematic of the plight faced by thousands upon 
thousands of low-income families. Indeed, Ms. Louisa stands as a 
heartbreaking symbol of the more than 8,000 families - and nearly 13,000 
children - who are trying to escape the stifling grip of homelessness and 
poverty in our city today.

All New Yorkers certainly understand that affordable housing is in such 
short supply, leaving poor families to live in doubled-up, overcrowded 
housing or relying on city shelters as a sad alternative to a real home - a 
desperate measure in the face of crushing poverty and the outrageous cost of 
housing that leaves so many with no choice at all.

Let's hope that the Nilda Louisas of our city move us to act by investing in 
low-cost permanent housing. The financial cost of homelessness is just too 
high for taxpayers. The human cost is incalculable.

Arnold S. Cohen
President and Chief Executive
Partnership for the Homeless
Chelsea





If You Move Here, Speak English

To the Editor:

"English Only, Por Favor" (Oct. 9) states, "A letter instructing porters at 
a Lower East Side co-op that only English could be spoken on the job has 
erupted into a bitter squabble in a neighborhood where a babble of languages 
wafts through apartment buildings."

I'm Hispanic. I came to the United States as a legal immigrant, I learned 
English, and I'm a naturalized American citizen.

To maintain a nation, we need to keep three important elements: language, 
culture and borders. Without them, we no longer have a country.

The immigrants we get these days, whether they are legal or illegal, don't 
come here for "freedom," as so many pro-immigration advocates claim. 
Instead, these immigrants come for the "freebies" that American taxpayers 
pay for. Otherwise, they would learn English and assimilate in American 
society, as I did.

I have this to say to these Tower of Babel immigrants: "If you don't want to 
speak English, go back to your country."

Haydee Pavia
Laguna Woods, Calif.





Don't Dilute the Impact of the 9/11 Memorial

To the Editor:

Michael Rips ("So Much for Freedom," Op-Ed, Oct. 2) laments the cancellation 
of the proposed International Freedom Center at the World Trade Center site. 
He believes that this is a serious blow to the First Amendment. He also says 
the powers that be were afraid that the Freedom Center might feature 
exhibits that were anti-American.

My objection to the Freedom Center is more basic: it would have diluted the 
impact of the memorial site, as well as the memory of those who died on 
9/11. An International Freedom Center did not belong there.

Selvin Gootar
Woodside, Queens