The vote by the Board of Aldermen to vote again on lowering the number of aldermen is simply a power grab by aldermen who don’t want to give up the illusion of power and could care less about the public interest. The public voted overwhelmingly to lower the number of aldermen to 14.
Racism is not the issue either. If blacks are represented by 7 or 14 aldermen it is the same level of black power as 14 out of 28. Certain individuals are just afraid of losing their jobs. Written by Paul Dribin
I particularly like that they talk about income subsidy as well.
A report entitled Segregation in St. Louis-Dismantling the Divide is an outstanding document that carefully, accurately, and fairly analyzes the history of housing segregation in St. Louis. The report was prepared by a group of organizations and scholars led by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Economic Opportunity Council. It should be required reading for everyone and hopefully will be a blueprint for action. The website for the report is forthesakeofall.org. Written by Paul Dribin
This article itemizes a new form of land contract housing sales. It preys on African American people of limited means and marginal credit. People pay monthly but title to the property does not transfer until after a long number of years. The potential buyers build no equity and if they miss a payment they are out with no equity to show for it. These programs were used for blockbusting in Chicago when I grew up. Written by Paul Drib in
Today’s Post had three articles which when taken together summarize the problems of the St. Louis area.
1. The Madison County Illinois Sheriff blamed the crime in St. Louis on a recent murder in his county and related crimes. This represented a certain amount of hyperbole but also was true. The crime situation is way out of hand and slowing the region.
2. Joe Regan was fired as President of the Regional Chamber. I don’t know the inner workings of that organization but I regularly wonder why it receives the large amount of funding it does from governmental and private sector organizations. He received over $700,000 in salary with no results while running the organization into the ground. Couldn’t those fees be better used to provide job training for disadvantaged individuals?
3. The Post also again reported on the racial gap in student achievement this time with College Advanced Placement Exams. I don’t put a lot of faith in these exams but they are an indicator of the achievement gap.
These stories indicated the terrible crime problem in St. Louis, the terrible educational system available to most African American students, and the back scratching cronyism of major area institutions such as the Regional Chamber. Written by Paul Dribin
I am constantly frustrated by the silly priorities of our region and the things we try to put effort into. The City of St. Louis is the murder capital of the country. Indeed some neighborhoods have a murder rate as high as the most dangerous third world countries. We have a huge amount of poverty, poor infrastructure, failing schools, poor public health, and a net loss of population. Our race relations are the joke of the country.
Instead of focusing on these issues we are concerned about Metrolink expansion, soccer stadiums, trolleys, and horse drawn carriages. Our government is hugely fragmented and dysfunctional. It’s no wonder we have problems. Written by Paul Dribin
For many year I have worked with so called urban pioneers who tend to be relatively affluent white people who live in marginal neighborhoods in cities by choice. I have found they tend to look down their noses on people who live in the burbs or make other choices. This is somewhat ironic because they often accuse suburbanites of the same type of snobbery they display.
We need to get past this issue. We all need each other. No one has a monopoly on truth or morality. People should not have to live in dangerous environments to prove their virtue. Troubled neighborhoods need middle class investment. Gentrification is not all bad; I don’t know of a neighborhood that has improved that has not gentrified. Written by Paul Dribin
The St. Louis Business Journal contained an article today asking various people about the application of the City of St. Louis to Amazon for it’s headquarters. The article was written in a manner as to indicate that a great application would have secured St. Louis a spot in the final 20.
Nothing could be further from the truth. An application is a document that allows Amazon to pick among a group of relatively equally qualified applicants. In our case, we don’t make that initial cutoff. Our crime rate is horrible, our workforce uneducated, the governmental system is dysfunctional, and racial problems are beyond belief. The best application possible would not have convinced Amazon to put its second headquarters here.
I am tired of St. Louis chasing after rainbows, be they NFL or soccer franchises, a China hub, trolleys, Metro Link or a convention center. If we created a strong community of racial harmony, good jobs, great schools, good governance, and low crime we would progress far better. Written by Paul Dribin
I take the lists of best and worst to not be worth very much. Nevertheless in the competitive world of travel and jobs maybe they do play a role.
First, a list I just saw ranks St. Louis as the very best place for a young person to move. The report cites the low cost of housing and cultural amenities. I think we all know that, the question is how do we harness it to bring more young people here and retain the ones we have. I would suggest offering a free weekend trip to St. Louis for anyone who wants it who live a certain distance away. Paying for this would of course be an issue but maybe the Regional Chamber can tighten up on some of their salaries to do this. Our cultural amenities are on a par with the greatest cities in the world
On the extremely negative side, Fodor’s published a list of where not to travel in the world, Missouri was listed right up there with Myanmar and Cuba( actually you would be safer in Cuba for sure). I don’t know why Missouri is worse than some other redneck states but we are. Much of it goes back to the NAACP report from awhile ago. Written by Paul Dribin