Almost two months after the devastating flood in September, it has been released that BAE, one of the area’s largest employers, will not be returning to their Westover plant. The plant was flooded in early September. Government officials are hoping they stay in the area, but are not sure what other facilities can provide the same space requirements and security. Hopefully they will remain in the area. If not, I wonder where people will find jobs. There is so much hope for this community and I feel like some of it was washed away with the flood. However there is a growing arts, theater and music scene, a caring and supportive community, a terrific university with thousands of intelligent students, a wonderful downtown area (albeit lacking businesses), natural beauty.
In my previous post I spoke about the greater Binghamton community and how it has bonded together. This is still the case and it is something I admire greatly about the area, and something I have not seen in my hometown. Over the past four and some odd years, I have grown to call Binghamton home, but I haven’t been able to commit to staying here after I graduate. After my summer in Harlem, I am looking for a more metropolitan area to spend the next few years. However I only wish the best for this community and I hope we can all get back on our feet.
The Occupiers are still in downtown Binghamton, hoping to make a change, or at least educate others about various issues. They have been there for almost three weeks, through rain and snow. There is a tent set up for live music. They now have toilets and a generator to keep warm. Community members bring them food.
I myself am not occupying, since I am in school and do have a part-time job that pays rent. However I have much respect for those that have been out there being a consistent force in the community for the past few weeks. The Mayor himself has also been extremely supportive. A few weekends ago I saw him playing harmonica and singing with the band. I have a lot of respect for him making such a public show of support to this controversial movement.
I hope some good comes out of this Occupy Binghamton movement; at this cross roads after the flood, this community needs a change and now is the time.