To the editor:
As a Lawrencian, I feel obligated to come to the defense of the South side of our city. We have a very important mayoral race coming up, and one candidate — William Lantigua — is working very hard to divide Lawrence into two different cities, North and South.¬ This is a political maneuver that will only hinder our city.
We have been called the white, Anglo-Saxon racist people of South Lawrence, who receive all the services. At a recent endorsement party for Lantigua, people stepped up to the microphone to tell those present it is time for a mayor who does not just represent South Lawrence. People in Mount Vernon have been called rich and racist.
For the record I grew up with a single parent, on Brook Street, and in the Beacon Project. My wife and I raised our children in a two-family home on Boxford Street. I now live in the Mount Vernon section of Lawrence. I have not seen any more services here than I did on Boxford Street. My neighbors are not wealthy. They are hardworking, proud people. We all work together to make our area attractive, picking up trash that is thrown around, putting out flower planters, hanging American flags, etc. If Mr. Lantigua traveled throughout the North side of the city, he would be aware it is not any different from the South side. There are many lovely neighborhoods there with hardworking, proud citizens.
His main talking point is bragging about all the money he brings into the city as a state representative. Although he did bring in money for the senior center, the bulk has not helped the city or the average Lawrencian. It goes to certain nonprofits, Spanish dance groups, the Arlington Neighborhood Association, the New England Puerto Rican Alliance, Casa¬ Dominicana, etc.
When you go out to vote, it is of the utmost importance that you know what our candidates stand for and how their plans are going to benefit our city. This candidate has stated he will not debate his opponent, and that he will hold both the offices of state representative and mayor for 12 months. I ask: Who will be in charge at City Hall when he is at the Statehouse?
His battle for mayor is based on the principle of divide and conquer. Please, do not allow all of the racist propaganda to divide our city and citizens. It is a critical time for Lawrence. If you do not vote, you cannot complain; so I ask you all to be aware, and get out and vote. It is your American duty, and a great way to honor our veterans.
Francis J. Incropera
Mount Vernon Neighborhood Assoc.