My ancestors can be traced back more than one hundred years in Cedar Rapids. My great-great-great-great grandparents settled and were married in Cedar Rapids in 1866. I have lived on all four sides of this city but my parents bought their first home in the Time Check area. The way I see it- Time Check is a part of me- it’s in my blood and for this city council to treat it and other pioneering neighborhoods like it as if they are disposable really gets under my skin!
The flood wounded our city and instead of treating the wound as any good ethical doctor would this city council decided to neglect it. It is my opinion that the people on this panel are responsible for it becoming blighted. The mindset that many of you carry did in effect cause many flood survivors to abandon all hope of ever rebuilding in our neighborhoods.
This was done all in the name of a posh riverfront project. In what fantasy world do you live in to think you would get away with building a haughty riverfront project in the middle of a recession- ripping out historical neighborhoods- full of affordable housing and using the flood to rationalize it? I shudder when I think of the elderly people who lost their independence due to the choices made by this city council and pray that none of you have to suffer in the ways they have.
Today our neighborhoods sit fragmented and many people still suffer PSTD not because of the lack of help from the federal government but from the lack of cooperation from local leadership. I can’t help but feel we who were hit hardest were pushed out of the recovery process. I feel as if we’ve been manipulated and that I have wasted more than 35 hours of my time to attend these so called neighborhood planning process meetings because the plan was already there and Sasaki wasn’t going to just tear it all apart. Where do you get the idea that we the people are going to just agree to you destroying historical neighborhoods that would change the face of Cedar Rapids forever?
My entire support system was uprooted and scattered and my entire family has felt the impact of this flood. Now I am on the brink of homelessness, again, because I can’t afford to pay all these extra taxes that I know I am never going to be helped from. I wasn’t afforded the luxury of a FEMA home to help me get back on my feet. So I have been running since June 11, 2008. I am disgusted by the lack of integrity that this council holds for its people. With new leadership who promises to be honest to us, I can say that I am finally looking forward to recovering but I will never forget those of you who made it hard on all of us.