Many people have been getting to know their neighbors better over the past few months, spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I moved to Rogers Park a year ago and have been enjoying getting to know my neighbors better.
However, I am deeply disappointed by the opposition of many Rogers Park homeowners to the city’s proposal to purchase and open an addiction treatment facility in Midtown. It is one thing to ask the mayor and the Municipality for more information and a more transparent process for identifying and enacting solutions to help Anchorage’s homeless population, but it is despicable to use racist language to condemn people who are experiencing homelessness.
Rogers Park has a history of codified segregation as an explicitly “whites-only” neighborhood, upheld by covenants barring home ownership by Black and Alaska Native people. It is well past time for those of us who own homes in Anchorage’s once-segregated neighborhoods to reflect on how we can make reparations for that racist past and how we can be good stewards of ancestral Dena’ina land. As a Rogers Park homeowner, I enthusiastically support solutions to help people in Anchorage who are experiencing homelessness, including facilities located in our “back yards.”
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