By Rosalie Tirella

City of Worcester officials can’t seem to wrap their heads around Worcester’s homeless and affordable housing crises. Photo: R.T.

Re: the City’s Inclusionary Zoning proposal. Tomorrow night, March 15, is the hearing before the Worcester City Council’s Economic Development sub-committee. Then the Worcester City Council votes on it. The city council must do the right thing and vote for the 50% income guideline recommended by City Councilor King, a social worker who knows the issues families in Worcester face. He knows their struggles. …2. Wish the city council would increase the number of affordable apartments mandated under this new proposal. Developers shouldn’t be able to come in and change the face of a community just because they’ve got the dough$$$$ – and displace the locals or throw us a bone or two. They’re in and the Boston area folks who can afford the new Woo rents are in. Worcesterites – especially our working poor – are out!

Are we even a Gateway City these days?

Or are we Worcester Chamber of Commerce President Tim Murray’s wet dream come true – a chi chi satellite of Boston?

Tim’s been at it for 25 years – a quarter of a century. He has been trying to make us into a minny Beantown for years. A pro-circus, pro-Tif, pro job creation for his pal O’Leary at UMass medical center after working for him in the LG office – and then almost doubling his salary in a year. Murray knows the game. Why he practically doubled his own Chamber of Commerce salary when hired by the Chamber after he’d disgraced himself politically and was political dead meat in Massachusetts and nationally. Murray hates raising the minimum wage but doubled his salary from the high 90s$$ to almost $200,000 a year when he first negotiated his Chamber contract. Why isn’t this puke in prison?

HOMELESS. I struggled with it for 17 months and know the issues. Because I’ve lived the issues. A brutal reality. Unnecessary suffering. Hurt. Exhaustion. Despair. Worcester city councilors, most of them are comfortably middle class and thru their city positions have gotten their relatives into pretty good city jobs and housing – so they can’t relate to the average Woo person. A few of them, like City Councilor George Russell, City Councilor Candy Carlson and CC Moe Bergman are upper-middle class $$$$ – and may be entirely pointless when it comes to advocating for Worcester’s young people and working poor. Maybe if these rascals all lived out of their cars for a month or two they’d see the light.

Homeless in Worcester … a housing voucher that doesn’t work – doesn’t cover the sky high Worcester rents … a Worcester exodus in order to secure, be able to afford, a nice apartment (in another town in the county) … uprooting yourself from the places in Worcester that you love and your Woo pals/support network. I’m older, so it feels sort of ok to slow things down a bit. BUT IF YOU’RE A WORKING FAMILY, YOUNG PERSON JUST STARTING OUT or A NEW HIRE TO THE CITY SCHOOLS OR HOSPITALS the exorbitant Worcester rents will lock you out of the city you need to be in!


People, please connect with Worcester’s city councilors and the Economic Development Sub-committee Chairman – Councilor Rose – and demand MORE Woo affordable housing units be created FAST – like yesterday – to keep us a Gateway City. Tell them the City of Worcester must forge a STRONG Inclusionary Zoning Law THAT TRULY BENEFITS THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST.