The Election and Integration!!

I am beginning my week realizing that Donald Trump will now be the President of the United States in January.  He is criticizing the New York Times on Twitter today for dishonest coverage and declining subscribers.  The New York Times is firing back indicating a rise in digital subscribers and readership.  Mr. Trump had indicated that he was going to restrain himself on social media only to try to intimidate a major media outlet.  I am trying to figure out what is the 'Trump phenomena' that he is referring to.  The media fairly covered his numerous gaffes during the campaign.  I wonder if he will sue the numerous women who came forward to accuse him of groping them without their consent.  His trial for consumer fraud is coming up on November 28th but his tream is calling for a postponement.  Is reporting about the trial unfair also?

I am a Majority Inspector in the 36th Ward of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia.  Donald Trump won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by amassing large majority of voters in the counties in between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.  The promises of jobs for coal miners and the return of greatness to middle class families led him to victory here and in Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina.  I was impressed with the turnout in my division.  We recorded 501 voters out of 702 registered.  On paper that is 71% of the registered voters participating in the Democratic process.  We had lines at 7:00 AM.  It was a steady pace all day.  We also had 64 voters who hadn't voted in recent elections.   The update to our files could have put us close to 80% participation.  I hope the City Commissioner's office does its job and updates the voter rolls.

I am at a loss as to why the participation of registered voters was lower nationwide that at any time in recent decades.  Less than 50% of registered voters nationwide participated in the election.  Many celebrities and elected officials supported Hillary's efforts leading up to the election.  President Obama stumped hard for Hillary.  The FLOTUS put in work also.  Jay Z, Beyonce, LeBron James, Madonna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga worked hard to try put the first woman in office.  Donald Trump had Rudy Guiliani and not much else.  He blew away the pollsters and political pundits who predicted a Hillary victory.  He now has to deliver on numerous promises that he made to garner the support of so many voters.  It was revealed that he got a larger than predicted portion  of Latino voters to support him.  White women pushed him over the top in spite of his misogynistic comments espousing the trappings of his fame and ability to do whatever he wanted to women.

Image result for point breeze philadelphia

My takeaway from this election was the changes that have taken place in my neighborhood.  Point Breeze, according to census reports from 2000 was a low income neighborhood beset by many social problems.  We benefited from a large infusion of Community Development Block Grant funding.  In some ways we could have been the African American neighborhoods that Donald Trump described as lacking jobs and where people get shot walking down the street.  The South Philadelphia School Safety Task Force, consisting of the 1st, 3rd and 17th Police Districts, regularly reported on the dangers that our students face getting back and forth to school.  What caused the recent influx of new non-minority neighbors back to our neighborhood?

Affordability was the key entry point.  Young couples could get mortgages that they could live with.  Everywhere I look, I see infill construction.  The 1600 block of Latona Street is now almost 100% occupied with infill construction continuing.  The 1200 block of South Broad Street has a large amount of voters that participated on Election Day last week.  I am African American.  Many of the new residents do not look like me.  I welcome the changes and I look forward to our neighborhood growing together.  Gentrification is an issue.  I think it affects many people in terms of who can afford the mortgages.  Houses are being built at 20th & Wharton Street.  I hope that the buyers reflect society as a whole.  I rest assured that Democracy is in full effect though.  Long time residents of Point Breeze should continue to vote and not take anything for granted based on our past history.  We are an integrated neighborhood and we could be the model for how this country grows going forward.

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