Letter: Sell church to Task Force instead of selling out Hyde/Jackson

June 21, 2013
By

Dear Church Square Partners,

In 2004, hundreds of residents from Hyde/Jackson Square worked with you to buy the Blessed Sacrament Church campus in order to preserve it for our community. We attended rallies. We signed petitions and wrote letters. We advocated with our elected officials. We participated in numerous public meetings. We did what had to be done to preserve our neighborhood and make sure that the people who had struggled and endured when times were hard could still afford to be here when times are good.

In 2005 and 2006, we answered your call during a difficult process to change the zoning so you could move forward with a community plan.

In 2007, we supported you to get the needed City approvals and public funding, and advocated on your behalf when the economy fell apart to get more resources.

In 2011, we celebrated with you on the completion of the first phase of work.

Throughout this community-driven process, we’ve done whatever was asked to make sure that our collective vision of a healthy, diverse, sustainable Hyde/Jackson Square was preserved.

We’ve been with you from the beginning. Don’t abandon us now. Our neighborhood does not need more luxury condos. We need a community arts and culture center that celebrates the diversity of Jamaica Plain and honors the collective struggle we all went through to preserve the Campus.

The Hyde Square Task Force has made several offers to buy the church in order to make this happen. They have the vision and the capacity to make this happen.

Please: Sell off the church. Don’t sell out our neighborhood!

Galicia Escarfullery

Roxbury

Editor’s Note: The writer is a former youth organizer with the Hyde Square Task Force.