Lariat Letter: Working against the grain is how we achieve new heights

Regarding the April 29 Bottom Line by Mr. Reubin Turner, I respectfully disagree with the idea that civic leaders must change who they are for someone else’s idea of progress to succeed. Councilwoman Alice Rodriguez has been a steady voice for those in District 2 who continue to be marginalized by systems and structures which leave the economically disadvantaged out of planning and expansion processes.

Today we refer to Waco’s economic renaissance as “revitalization.” In the 1950s, the popular phrase for the same idea was “urban renewal.”

The result, then and now, is the displacement of low-income families who have called South Waco home for generations.

Families do not have to be run out physically to be displaced: higher rents, higher property taxes and low-paying jobs will do the job more effectively than overt displacement.

I am disappointed that a bright young man such as Mr. Turner would say “trying to fight powers that would be tough for any council member to tackle alone, seems to be a waste of time and energy.” What if the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment had believed that?

Those who confront entrenched structures and insist that opportunity should be available to everyone are often met with dismissive words; such attitudes are antique at best and unfeeling at worst.

Why leave Councilwoman Rodriguez alone in this fight?

Why not instead join her and ensure that in Waco, at least, revitalization means vitality for all citizens?

—Robert Cervantes
Candidate for Waco City Council, District 5