By Rosalie Tirella
Kudos to newbie Worcester City Councilor at Large Thu Nguyen for being compassionate and brave and calling for more cooling and warming stations to be set up in Worcester for our homeless. They are part of Worcester’s new political vanguard – the torch has been (partially) passed to a new generation! Nguyen and other fresh Woo political leaders are young and idealistic – and they’re speaking truth to an encrusted Worcester power structure. A power structure that for decades blocked out Blacks and other racial … sexual/ethnic minorities in a million ways, both big and small. A city government rife with nepotism. A city government that covered up police brutality.
New voices! New perspectives! New people! These new people bring new ideas to our community table! They make us remember: “Liberty and justice for all”!
Worcester’s Nguyen is one of the first nonbinary political leaders in America. They are gay. They are Vietnamese American. Read: they are the penultimate outsider. Outsiders are great because their perspectives, their souls, are often forged in pain. The pain of otherness, not belonging, not being accepted by the majority. They’re often set upon, hurt … even killed. They can empathize … They are sensitive people.
Our homeless are hurting. Nguyen recognizes that. They feel the pain of the other, our homeless. They are saying: Our homeless must be cared for. They’re part of our city, too.
City Manager Ed Augustus and old guard politicians, forgo your flimsy excuses, buck-passing and victim-shaming/blaming! Open some warming stations – one or 2 in every Worcester neighborhood! – NOW! With free water, soup and bread and blankets for our homeless. They’re here – claim them as Jesus would! The City of Worcester has millions$$$ in COVID relief federal funds to ALLEVIATE suffering. Act now.
Every Worcester city councilor should be required to spend two consecutive nights in their cars – THOSE NIGHTS ARE LONG AND COLD, EVEN WITH THE CAR HEATER BLASTING! – before they vote yay or nay on Nguyen’s warming stations proposal. They should be homeless for a long weekend… take a pee and wash their faces and brush their teeth in a Price Chopper bathroom in the wee hours of the morning. They should feel … forsaken. Then they should vote!