Our self-united chief of staff, Char, does not agree with us on the whole Hill District issue.
When good people like Char disagree with you, you've lost Pittsburgh.
So, we will present Char's comment to the BURGH REPORT in its entirety, in two volumes.
This first volume is unimportant. At its conclusion, we get all sappy and ludicrous on issues of race and poverty. We probably don't know what we're talking about.
We're just putting this out there in case it leads anyone anywhere.
Bram, I'm all for social resources like substance abuse programs, youth centers, YMCAs, clean safe parks and playgrounds. That is money well-spent to *help* clean the neighborhood up and build toward its future. But no amount of help will completely clean up the neighborhood until the folks who live there realize the buck stops with them. Their own kids, their neighbor's kids, the kids down the street must be ultra-protected, ultra-parented to make up for the ugly influences that bombard them every day. Influences they’ve allowed to grow and fester. THEY have to do this. They cannot rely on the day-care center, school teacher, youth counselor to make sure their kids go to school, do their homework and not roam-about/hang-out late at night with nothing to do but get into trouble. This is what THEY must do to make sure their kids are employable if the jobs they keep demanding ever do materialize.
Additionally, Hill residents must get over the "don't snitch" mentality. They've got to band together, work WITH police, to get the ugly element out of their lives, away from their children.
Okay, here is where we interrupt. Like we said, we do not have a very good answer for this material.
We hope One Hill has an answer by Monday.
All the Comet asks (here it comes) is that first we all really hone in on our empathy toward the miseries and struggles of poverty and misfortune, common miseries to which we all can relate...
... then imagine many of ourselves in an entirely different and more challenging family situation, economic situation, educational situation and who knows what else...
... and then on top of that, imagine stepping out our front doors every morning, only to see little but the same and worse miseries and struggles going on all around us -- to the north, to the south, to the east, to the west -- with too few signs of growth, and so many signs of decay.
There is no substitute for pride, hard work, self-discipline and virtue. We are just saying. Sometimes these things are necessary, but not quite sufficient. A well-crafted neighborhood stimulus package should not be off of any tables.
Where would this stimulus come from? What do any of us stand to gain from it? That brings us to the rest of your comment, Char -- the part that we're going to shred.
(Oh wait, you just commented again ... yeah, you're already getting there...)