Skip to comments.Illinois State Senator Barack Obama's 'Urban Agenda'
Posted on 05/14/2015 8:55:52 AM PDT by Kaslin
After the recent Baltimore riots, left-wing critics accused President Barack Obama of lacking an "urban agenda." Critics like PBS's hard lefty Tavis Smiley said: "What do we see in Baltimore and Ferguson and beyond? Racism, poverty and militarism. And so poverty is clearly connected to this. My sense is that this is going to become the new normal. These kinds of uprisings and riots are going to happen a lot more if we can't get serious about jobs, jobs, jobs with a living wage for all fellow citizens. ...
"My problem with the President so far, respectfully, is that he has had a sort of 'hands off' approach to a 'hands up' crisis, and I don't think that's the answer to the prayer, either. ... When you have police killings that are on the rise ... for me, that's a problem; that's a pandemic. I think that our leaders ought to call a state of emergency ... from the President on down. We can then, I think, get a real conversation about police accountability, about civilian oversight and, again, about jobs for fellow citizens."
Black Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West said of Obama: "Maybe he couldn't do that much. But at least tell the truth. I would rather have a white president fundamentally dedicated to eradicating poverty and enhancing the plight of working people than a black president tied to Wall Street and drones."
But as a local Illinois lawmaker, then-state Sen. Barack Obama did, in fact, enact an "urban" agenda on education and housing.
Bill Ayers, the former fugitive and still unrepentant domestic terrorist/member of the Weather Underground turned educator, founded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Just three years out of law school, Obama chaired the newly formed CAC board from 1995 to 1999, spending millions to "improve" Chicago public schools. In all, CAC distributed more than $100 million from 1995 to 2001 to improve Chicago schools.
Rather than fund the schools directly, Ayers required schools to work with "external partners," who focused on political radicalism. "External partners" that focused on math or science were turned down. The CAC instead funded groups like the far-left Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange, which focused on Afrocentricity, anti-capitalism, political consciousness and bilingualism.
After six years, what did the CAC achieve? By its own assessment, the money was wasted. Their report said: "There were no statistically significant differences in student achievement between Annenberg schools and demographically similar non-Annenberg schools. This indicates that there was no Annenberg effect on achievement."
What about housing? Surely Illinois state Sen. Obama has something to show for his public-private partnership agenda to improve public housing? During his eight-year service in the state house, from 1997 through 2004, Obama co-wrote a state law pooling tax credits for development projects. Then and current adviser Valerie Jarrett served as the chief executive of Habitat Company, which managed a project called Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 to 2008.
Grove Parc Plaza, a renamed redevelopment of an older housing project, was opened in 1990 with a new owner, with funding from the federal government. A private management firm was hired to oversee the property, which lay in state Sen. Obama's district. After losing the contract in 2001 to Habitat, the head of the original management company was convicted of embezzling $1 million in management fees.
Residents complained about deteriorating conditions. By 2006, after repeated warnings, federal inspectors found conditions so bad and repairs so minimal they moved to seize Grove Parc, later demolishing it.
Similarly, Rezmar Corp., cofounded in 1989 by Tony Rezko, used more than $87 million in government grants, loan and credits over the next nine years to renovate and manage 1,000 apartments in 30 Chicago buildings -- 11 of them in Obama's district. Residents complained of rats, insect infestations, no heat, leaking windows and piles of trash. By the time Obama entered the state Senate, buildings were deteriorating and Chicago was suing Rezmar for various violations.
Rezmar got out of the subsidized housing game and -- apparently with plenty still left in their bank account -- got into high-end developments. Rezko, the Obama friend and political supporter who helped the Obamas purchase their Chicago home in 2005, was indicted in 2006 on federal charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and attempted extortion. He was ultimately convicted on 16 charges and received a 10 1/2-year sentence.
So to his left-wing critics, Obama could legitimately say that as a local lawmaker, he did implement his urban agenda on housing and education. That agenda was simple: spend more taxpayer money. Never mind that America already spends more money, K-12, than all but Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg. Unless families embrace and emphasize education, spending more just wastes taxpayer money. As to housing, that's the private sector's job. The real lesson of the Wall Street-housing meltdown is that government never should have been in the housing business.
But, no, let's spend more, no matter the outcome.
The only thing that will cure the problem is if the inhabitants work at legitimate jobs, respect the rights of others, and take pride in being good people.
The democrat solution will not do any of those things.
“I think that our leaders ought to call a state of emergency ... from the President on down. We can then, I think, get a real conversation about police accountability, about civilian oversight and, again, about jobs for fellow citizens...”
That’s only HALF the battle.
It’s vital to teach people (ALL PEOPLE) that as CITIZENS of the US, they are equally accountable and have an absolute duty DUTY to know and obey the law. When schools and other social institutions PREACH anarchy and chaos as viable responses to social problems... no amount of ‘police accountability’ is going to work.
Individuals’ understanding of ‘civic duties and responsibilities’ is essential AS WELL.
And Chicago is in worse financial shape then Detroit as per Moody’s. Obama and pals are trying hard to make the entire country like these cities.
You can only get the "jobs jobs jobs" by removing the "living wage" requirement. Rely on a dynamic capitalist market, and those temporarily under the "living wage" will thru their own efforts, shortly find themselves with a living wage. The jobs they vacate will be taken by a new tier of market entrants.
To paraphrase you, fix them within to fix them without? If that is what you mean I could not agree more. That is it for every person, every society, every country, every government. Unless you have people with good character and good work ethics with the sense that they must answer to God for their thoughts-words-deeds, you will fail. You can have nothing else, and you will succeed.
Riots are going to happen a lot more if we can’t get serious about jobs.
Guess that change isn’t working out like he expected.
More great democrat leadership at work here’s your soup.
Larry Elder is a straight shooter and a national treasure.
FREE Givernment MONEY.... WHY Work?..
Taking Chicago machine politics to the national level, Obama was called on it, his first year in office.
It’s a deadly combination: You can’t fix stupid and nihilistic culture combined.
Although it’s unpopular to say it, the ghetto culture is composed of nihilistic people without family who are for the most part well down the left side of the Bell Curve. I’m speaking statistically, for the few PC readers inclined to jump on me. And, I don’t see how anyone can avoid noticing the cultural breakdown in family and acceptable conduct.
Everything this man touches is a disaster. Not some failures and some sucesses. Always a disaster and more lawlessness than you could even imagine.
Well, the emporer and his wife are naked!
Cover it up, man.
These sound like threats to me; akin to terrorism.
Well Tavis, it’s not really a federal issue.
He is indeed
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