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Fort Worth, Texas

by Paula Frade

I am from Fort Worth, TX! I grew up in a neighborhood called Polytechnic Heights, also known as Poly, which is predominantly Hispanic. Growing up in Poly for me was like its own little world. The only people I ever knew were my friends and the people that grew up around me. We were able to go to our neighbors’ to ask for certain ingredients that we needed for our meals. We all knew each other so closely that we could also tell if someone had been gone for a long time. When I left my little world to go to college, it was a culture shock for me to realize how “different” my world was. Everyone kept to themselves and no one wanted to make friends; it was weird.

As time passed, and the more I went back home to visit, I started to see the help that was needed in my community. There were a lot of communal changes being made in the neighborhood and, for some reason, it was making me upset. While the things that the city was adding to the area were great, they also made no sense. The first thing the city added was bikes that you could rent by the hour. Yes, we do have a lot of people who ride bikes in the area, but it is not out of leisure. It is because of the lack of affordable transportation around the area. With my neighborhood being low income, very few people are going to think about using the money that they could use for groceries on a bike. A lot of people need their money and cannot use it on things that won’t benefit them in the future. Then, all of these really nice, really HUGE houses and apartments started popping up. Not only are taxes going up, but families are leaving.

If Poly keeps heading in this direction, no one is going to be left to defend it for what it once was. My goal in the future is to help keep Poly beautiful and embrace what we have as a community. Instead of adding, give to the local businesses. Fix their parking lots, create larger seating areas and fix our parks. There are ways to add to Poly without taking it away from us, too.

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