The people who control the look of a neighborhood and the messages that are conveyed are the members of the community. Although higher powers can attempt to gentrify a neighborhood, ultimately the people who live there have the control. The members can either take the initiative to give an image to their neighborhood, or they can be passive. Then, the neighborhood wouldn’t have an image and it would look lifeless as if no one cared about it. The murals and art around a neighborhood speak for the community and let the world know what the residents feel. I chose to write my topical poem the way I did because I felt influenced by the message from San Jose Obrero Mission. Pilsen is like a point of entry for immigrants — and the process of beginning a new life in a new country can be difficult. Many immigrants lose their way and end up in a crisis. Places like San Jose see what happens, give support and provide people a way to move forward. It is this compassion that creates miracles: it takes people out of the streets and makes the world a better place.
September 23, 2011, by EP