Gina-Louise Sciarra: Criticizes headlines for misrepresenting facts

Published: 1/29/2017 11:55:45 PM
Criticizes headlines for misrepresenting facts

The Gazette’s Jan. 24 headline in print “City set to look at begging” and online “City Council Committee recommends forming panhandling task force” misrepresented the content and tenor of the recommendation made by the City Council Committee on Community Resources.

The actual recommendation, which was part of a larger report issued by the committee, was written with thought and intention not reflected in the headlines. It “recommends that the Mayor convene a task force of city employees, representatives from social service, housing and advocacy organizations, downtown stakeholders, and a member of this Committee, to explore non-ordinance and non-punitive ways of addressing the needs of downtown at-risk populations and ways that expanded resources can be directed towards the agencies and organizations doing direct work with our at-risk populations.”

The recommendation is focused on people and exploring how we can pull together to better serve them in these challenging times with a growing opioid crisis and the potential for federal and state cuts to needed services. It is not focused on targeting or further marginalizing those in our community who are already vulnerable.

Headlines that are meant to grab attention — but inaccurately summarize content — obfuscate the facts and fail to inform readers.

Gina-Louise Sciarra

Northampton

Gina-Louise Sciarra is the Ward 4 city councilor and chairwoman of the City Council Committee on Community Resources.




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