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We appreciate City Paper’s effort to report on important community matters in Mount Pleasant. Unfortunately, the focus of “Bout Pleasant” (Show & Tell, 2/1) may lead readers to believe that this community-wide dispute is merely about personalities.

The conflict in Mount Pleasant is not about personalities but about rights. The Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance effectively banned all music and cultural expression through the use of voluntary agreements without community input or involvement. The music ban affected the entire community, but the most immediate loss was the loss of live mariachi bands—once a staple of Mount Pleasant nightlife.

The agreements were negotiated in secret and kept out of the public eye. They are enforced through complaints, which has led to discriminatory enforcement. This has allowed certain businesses to operate unhindered—regardless of the stipulations of their agreements—while others, mostly Latino, are subjected to repeated inspections and surveillance.

Mount Pleasant neighbors, including members of Hear Mount Pleasant, reached out to the MPNA for years on this issue and were pointedly ignored. Frustration over the ban and its impact on immigrant-owned business and Latin culture in Mount Pleasant finally led neighbors and businesses to band together to get these Draconian controls lifted. Far from a personality contest, the “Bout” is about transparency, accountability, participation, and who gets to decide the fate of a community’s resources.

Natalie Avery, Andrea Blatchford, Amber Gallup, Wayne Kahn, Phil Lepanto, David Sachdev, Claudia Schlosberg, Eugene Stevanus, Janelle Treibitz
Hear Mount Pleasant Steering Committee