The June 5th Westchester section of the New York Times carried an article about Davids Island which contained disparaging references to New Rochelle. Out of annoyance, I wrote the following letter, which was printed in the June 12th edition of the Times:
To The Editor:
“A Rich Past That Now Has A Future” (June 5) provides a fair and encouraging description of continuing efforts to transform Davids Island into a public park. Deeply unfair, however, is your casual and unexplained use of the adjectives “struggling” and “depressed” to describe the entire community of New Rochelle. To what, exactly, are you referring?
New Rochelle boasts an outstanding school system, robust economic and rich cultural life. In recent years, economic development efforts have attracted almost a billion dollars in private investment to New Rochelle’s downtown, with much more on the way.
Real estate values in New Rochelle have risen faster than the metropolitan average. New Rochelle’s exceptional ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity gives our city an especially vibrant character. And New Rochelle residents demonstrate confidence in their community daily through participation in a dazzling range of volunteer and civic organizations.
Like most cities of its size and age, New Rochelle faces substantial challenges. But to toss around words like “struggling” or “depressed” serves only to contribute to lazy stereotypes.