I attended a public meeting tonight on the John/Rebecca Park, I said silent when one person expressed that they wanted the City of Hamilton to install gates on the park to keep out the homeless and prevent people from sleeping in the park.

They referred to the gates at the Ferguson and King "Ferguson Station" park as being very effective at keeping out the "undesirables".

I sat there, waiting for someone to say something. This was an official City of Hamilton meeting, two City staff were leading the discussion, Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr was the official host of the meeting.

Nothing. I served my term on the Beasley Neighbourhood Association executive and am no longer in that community leadership role.

I didn't say anything; I regret not saying anything. I've always believed that regardless of the inactions of others, even those in positions of power, I have a duty to speak up.

I failed to do so tonight, I regret this decision.

Yes, speaking up would've been me in the middle of "controversy", and heaven knows I don't need to be give the establishment more opportunity to malign my character. Nonetheless, it was the right thing to do and I didn't do it.

My silence allowed for a group of people to become the other, and for the person who spoke next to be comfortable calling for gates on the park as well.