NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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The next NEW PWW Photo will appear in January 2012 Including THE BEST EVER PWW RESPONSE

The one and only correct contestant for the November Phillips What Where was by Matthew Roed.  We have never had such a thorough answer along with additional commentary about Phillips.  Here it is in its entirety: 

Dear Editor:

My name is Matthew Roed and I live in Golden Valley and work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital where I read the Alley in the cafeteria after working night shift at Sister Kenny Institute as a Registered Nurse.

I would like to submit my guess for the Phillips What Where for November 2011.

Since I work in this neighborhood, I felt that I should know why it was so named and who inspired the naming.

So I decided to figure it out…

I learned through some internet researching that the photo is the dedication and unveiling of the Wendell Phillips Monument in Boston.  The photo was taken July 5th, 1915 in the Bolyston Street Mall Public Garden.

The inscription above the statue of Mr. Phillips reads, “Whether In Chains Or In Laurels Liberty Knows Nothing But Victories”

It must have been a hot day/sunny on July 5th, 1915 because many of the individuals pictured have hats on to block the sun.  I was particularly struck by the white child standing directly below the statue with a black man flanking him on both sides.  I think that is what Phillip wanted, racial unity.

In my mind, the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis really is in chains, but they are invisible ones.  In order to truly know liberty, those chains must be broken and in order to do so the people who live in the neighborhood need to organize, deal with common issues and also market the neighborhood’s benefits more effectively. If people are scared, they live and die alone in a neighborhood, chained to their homes in fear.  However, if people feel supported and even united, they are willing to step out side of their comfort zone and make a difference for themselves and their neighbors.

What residents of Phillips need to do come together regardless of race, religion, social status, gender, sexual orientation or age and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhood and like Phillips, be radial in the approach to finding solutions to problems if they are to as Phillips states, “Know Liberty.”

Town hall meetings with food would be a great start and I will not speak for them, but would imagine that Allina and Children’s hospital would be very interested in efforts to assist the community in anyway that they can.

I wanted to live in the Phillips neighborhood because my wife and I work at Abbott Hospital, but we didn’t feel that the neighborhood had enough, “Up and Coming” feel to it.  We saw the need for change and rather than becoming part of that change, we avoided it.  I guess that I am just as guilty.  However, we at the time did not see the social momentum that we had hoped for going on in the neighborhood.  People in Golden Valley usually do not organize because there is little crime or social issues to be dealt with there, but they miss out on the energy and benefits of living in the City.

If Phillips really is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, then why aren’t the residents drawing attention to this issue to people across the Metro and even the State?  It’s like Phillips is stuck in a cube and needs change agents to start finding a way out.

Thanks for the effort of opening peoples eyes to what inspired the naming of the Phillips Neighborhood.  Most people I talk to only of the neighborhood, “be careful because that’s a rough area” or “Avoid!” I know that it has potential and that there are a lot of great things happening in Phillips, but the problem is that really no one else knows or worse, cares.

If I win or am the only one to submit, please donate the $10 Welna Hardware gift certificate to the Midtown Greenway Coalition. Regards, Matthew Roed

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