To the editor:

You’ve seen the signs – “Not for Sale.m: Stop Overdevelopment.” It’s important to look carefully between the lines of this group’s mission.

Recently, a debate raged in Salem regarding redeveloping unused municipal and religious buildings. The North Shore CDC was ready to develop two of the buildings into 100% affordable housing. Three buildings were deteriorating due to standing vacant for years. Nevertheless, councilors Dibble, Dominguez, Flynn, Milo and Sargent, as well as a small group of private citizens, loudly opposed redevelopment. Despite their obfuscation, it became clear that they don’t want to share Salem with newcomers.

Now many of these same people have put their energies into “Not for Sale.m.” Is their primary concern the environment? Inequity between rich and poor? Or it is simply maintaining the status quo?

Before lending your voice to this group, think critically about whether the individual development project actually could be … a good idea. A way to preserve old buildings. A way to use downtown land to create homes in our city.

Please read “Housing will test white support for Black lives” in the Aug. 21 Boston Globe, then ask yourself with whom you want to be aligned. If you want to be a problem solver, consider joining the Salem Alliance for the Environment (SAFE), 350 Mass, the Salem League of Women Voters Affordable Housing Working Group (for all genders, not just women), or another pro-environment, pro-affordable housing, or anti-racist group whose members work in good faith to solve tough problems.

Ellen Simpson



Recommended for you