|photo by Suzy Gorman|
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From the commentary:
As the city's population declines and its poverty, crime and unemployment numbers rise exponentially, it's time to expand the dialogue of development in our region. It's time to invest in the "small fish" and use public private resources to rejuvenate long-ignored and neglected communities. It's time to grow up.
What must be emphasized is that much of the federal dollars backing or supporting these projects are derived from government initiatives designed to breathe economic vitality into metropolitan cities and disadvantaged urban areas.
The major hindrance, to be frank, is institutionalized White privilege in public, private and nonprofit sectors. The government can't mandate systems that empower people in disadvantaged areas. This is the challenge, especially in the St. Louis region, that local governments and public/private institutions face.
We have more than our share of challenges but, thankfully, we also have institutions and agencies, students, professors, politicians and visionaries working with dedicated residents to reclaim and revitalize urban areas. Unfortunately, are not dreaming together.
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