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November 21st episode

  • Subject: [cg] November 21st episode
  • From: Alliums <garlicgrower@snip.net>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2001 07:49:16 -0500

Dear Producers of "Law and Order"

My cousin and I enjoy your show so much that we often end of watching the
repeats both on TNT and A&E. However, we were so horrified by the premise of
the November 21st episode, where a New York City community gardener
committed arson, which killed a person inside the building, that we have not
been able to watch your show since.

As members of the American Community Gardening Association and the founders
of St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden in
Phoenixville, PA, we have found that community gardens (and especially
community gardeners!) are stablizing and welcome influences in a
neighborhood.  Before we moved to our current site behind the Fairview
Housing Project in Phoenixville, the lot was a site for drinking parties and
drag racing.  Since we set up the garden at this lot, the drinking parties
and drag racers have disappears, local vandalism is non-existent and the
children of the housing project have a safe, green place to play.  Our
gardeners teach the children to grow vegetables and share the harvest with
the local food bank.  In fact, we grow so much food at the community garden
that we are the primary source of in-season fresh produce for our local food

It is an insult, therefore, to insinuate on a major network television
program, that community gardeners are capable of committing crimes against
their neighbors.

We realize that you may be the victims of distorted local reporting.  Mayor
Giuliani regularly bulldozes gardens without due process and accuses the
gardeners of communist leanings. The truth is that New York City has some
11,000 vacant lots on which to build low and moderate income housing...which
it has yet to do. It does not need the land on which gardeners have been
trying to reclaim their city and their lives.

We understand that this is the second episode in which someone involved in a
New York City community garden was made the perpetrator of some heinous
crime on your program. I suggest that it is high time you visited some real,
live New York City community gardeners in their gardens and see for yourself
the kind of people they are and the neighborhoods they are struggling to
create.  To find a list of community gardens near you in New York City, I
suggest you visit http://www.communitygarden.org/links/index.html#Gardens.
Any of the New York City gardens on that list would be delighted to take you
on a personal tour of their gardens.

We look forward to seeing a more realistic portrayal of New York City
community gardens and their gardeners on your program in the future.  From
watching past episodes, we know you can produce better shows that the one
you aired on November 21, 2001.


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
Edward O'Neill, Compost Organizer
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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