This was our previous front page. We are now at work on issue #2
Interview with Marie Landaverde, South Sider
The South Side Free Press: “What do you think needs to change about south Framingham?”
Maria thinks we need to change the differences between the north and the south sides. On the north side, streets are cleaner, sidewalks are nicer, there are nicely kept up parks for kids to play in. On the south side, there are weeds and trash. There are used needles. There are too few safe places for kids to play.
For instance there is the open lot right behind Amazing Things. But right now it is full of weeds and needles.
“Maybe we could set up neighbor volunteer groups to clean it up.”
There are so many vans and trucks parked on the streets that cars have no place to park. Companies should have to provide parking for their equipment.
We need after school classes for kids and more English classes for adults.
“There is no music and theater…or if there is, we can’t read about it. Like the Amazing Things brochure…it’s so nice but we cannot figure it out.”
We should be like Summerville; there are so many free opportunities for kids. They even have a program there where they pay for bi-lingual kids to become translators. There is training in language, leadership and political action.
In the schools, parents need to make schools accountable for their children’s educations, and to make sure kids learn English. But some parents don’t speak good enough English to advocate for their kids. Parents need help in learning how to navigate the system, to participate. If there is an issue with a teacher or something, as there has been with some teachers at Keefe Tech, children need parental help and parents need to know how to help. If parents can’t speak, they can’t actively advocate for their kids education. And the schools, well, if a Latino parent talks, they interrupt. They don’t take us parents seriously.
There is no Spanish American Center (Maria didn’t know about the Portuguese center, BRACE, nor that it’s charter says it is available to all immigrants.) People have no place to learn the different rules here, they don’t know that they can’t play loud music late, for instance, or the differences in driving rules. There is no place to help people assimilate. There should be a new immigrant welcome center.
“We should have block groups, parties. If you feel like part of the community, you take better care of it. I’m from Guatemala. I want to give back because I got so much from this country. I hadn’t even finished high school when I came here and now I have a master’s degree in education.”