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West Side Fantasies

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To the editors:

I am writing in response to your article on the proposed west-side stadium [Neighborhood News, August 28]. If the poor people on the west side think for one minute that they are going to benefit from the building of a new stadium, they are more foolish than the Indians who sold Manhattan. All anybody has to do is look at a map of Chicago to figure out exactly what is about to happen to the west side. It is obvious that wealthy white people are sick of commuting and want to move to the city. There is only one direction that they can go--west. The near north side and Lincoln Park are already gentrified. The near south side already has Printer's Row and Dearborn Park. To the southwest of downtown is Chinatown and the northwest is blocked by Cabrini-Green. This only leaves the west side open and ripe for yuppieization. The stadium is only the first step in the plan to drive these people out and make room for the wealthy. Just what could a new stadium offer poor blacks on the west side? They certainly cannot expect any construction jobs because the trade unions will not admit them (note the current exodus from the Washburn Trade School). These jobs will all go to white union members, most of whom live in the suburbs. Can a stadium offer new business in the area? How many Bulls and Blackhawks fans spend money in the area now? Few, if any, even stop on the west side for anything. What about new housing? Sure, they will build and rehab a whole lot of new housing but if you think poor or working-class people of any race will be able to afford it, you should check the current rents in Lincoln Park.

Kevin Kitchen

W. Lunt

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