rumor has it that the city will not back down on our case because they are afraid it’s a slippery slope.
i’m not sure what that means, exactly, in the context of our garden. are they afraid someone might decide to grow bigger tomatoes? more aggressive strawberries? i have heard whisperings that they are afraid of… (imagine the most menacing vegetable possible!)- corn. yep. if they give us permission to have a garden, someone might grow corn.
so, i guess based on the need to protect the citizenry from rampant cornstalks, they are probably right to be concerned…
i’m being sarcastic, in case you haven’t read this blog before…
seriously, though, i think the slippery slope argument is one of the weakest legal arguments i have ever heard. how can the city deny me a right i clearly have and justify it on the grounds that someone else might abuse the freedom?
could i not give a diabetic child insulin shots because my neighbor might shoot heroin? can i not write a check at the store because someone else might commit check fraud? the list of absurdities is virtually endless, but the point is the same.
if i am exercising a perfectly legal right, there is no reason to prohibit me from exercising that right because someone else MAY do something wrong. as long as i am not causing- or even encouraging!- law breaking, why are they bothering me? i am not my brother’s keeper, nor am i responsible for other people abusing the laws or doing bad things.
the facts here are pretty simple. we checked on the laws. we researched the issue. we did everything right, and the city has gotten itself into a corner by giving us a baseless citation and now harassing us into a trial. we are the good guys. we are law-abiding, peaceful citizens. we are not criminal masterminds or petty criminals, or any other type of criminals.
we are doing a good thing. we have a garden where people can sit and relax. kids can play and learn. neighbors can catch up with each other. we have created a place where our community can share a new experience- a garden! people are excited. kids are off the computer and invigorated by helping. it’s a conversation starter- nothing sinister, nothing bad.
it’s a garden. it has vegetables. that’s it.
so take a breath, city of oak park…