To the editors:
The article by Ben Joravsky on Marty Merel and the decline of Rogers Park in your Neighborhood News section of the Reader (August 20) was misguided. Joravsky is pinning the rap on the wrong man.
As a 25-year resident of east Rogers Park, I testify that David Orr trashed our neighborhood. King David was the one who brought in all the Section Eight housing, making east Rogers Park one of the highest subsidized areas in the city.
King David also was against gentrification of east Rogers Park and fought it openly in many a public meeting. The statistics cited in Joravsky’s article coincide with King David’s reign. Slum landlords have moved in. Pay phones on the streets have proliferated. And wrought iron fences have been erected by building owners who want to protect their properties.
And now we have Joe Moore, since Orr left because he has a lean and hungry look for higher political office. (One of Orr’s first acts as county clerk was to put his two cronies, Mike Kreloff and Woods Bowman, on the payroll. Who said cronyism is restricted to City Hall?)
And what does Joe Moore want to do to help the neighborhood? He wants to bring in shelters for the homeless on Howard Street. More halfway houses. (I guess if you are going to trash a neighborhood, let’s go all the way.)
Granted, society has changed greatly in the last 25 years with the proliferation of street drugs and guns, but pinning the rap on one of the little guys like Merel for the decline of east Rogers Park is unconscionable. Put the blame on politicians hungry for large voting blocks.