What are some problems/concerns within Rockford, IL? (Chicago, Roscoe: section 8, apartments)
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What are some problems/concerns within Rockford, IL?
I am a Master's student doing a needs assessment project for my community. I would like to know what people within the Rockford community believe is a persistant problem/concern of the Rockford area? What changes need to take place?
Respondants Demographic information:
Highest level of education:
Any and all infomation is greatly appreciated!
Last edited by brown1234; 06-23-2010 at 03:56 PM..
Reason: more info needed
Everyone talks how bad Rockford is, but none seem to want to help. I don't live in Rockford IL any more but will supply you with data. I recently came back to the city for a funeral and took the family 2 months later there for 2weeks.
The major problems in Rockford IMHO are economy, crime and social barriers. I was turned away from a business while their for having an Out of State Drivers License. Tourism, what is that? So I took my money and family to Beloit WI during the visit. No problem their what so ever. "Social Issue"
Crime is still rife and much hasn't changed since last I was their 9years ago. Downtown is changing a little and Pierpont St going to the by pass was totally unacceptable. Rockford is # 1 in the Nation for Property Crimes. Also The condition of that street between Preston and Montague Rd is horrendous. The mayor should be fired immediately for its condition.
17%-20 something percent unemployment is also mind boggling. I did some research and the only people making decent money around their are in Government. They are making low 40s to high 90's depending on what department you work for. $50K a year in Rockford for Local Government officials is way overkill. These are the folks who live in Roscoe and Rockton and think there high on the hill. "Economy"
Hope this sparks some debate.
Race: Black American
Zip Code:Seattle Now use to be 61102
Highest level of education: Bachelors Mathematics/ Working on Masters Mathematics
Homeowner (Y/N): Y I have a home in Rockford and Seattle
Zip Code: 61107
Highest level of education: College
Homeowner (Y/N): Y
What's wrong with Rockford? Where to start. This was a thriving city up until the 70s, when the manufacturing companies started leaving, and the heavily blue-collar population faced high unemployment. We now have the highest unemployment in the state. We need an influx of good, blue collar jobs, not more minimum wage and service jobs.
The school system has been poorly managed for decades, resulting in loss of sports and extracurriculars in the '70s and many threats to do so again over the years. A racial discrimination lawsuit in the '90s ripped the community apart and sent the wealthy fleeing to surrounding small towns or putting their kids in private school. That left the Rockford Public Schools with an overall 80 percent low-income student rate. Even with an outrageously high budget, the schools just don't improve.
With such a high population of low-income folks, the tax burden is huge. Property taxes on a $100K home, for example, will be about $3500. Home values are very low, so there's little ability to use a house here as an investment or to expect to get money back out of it for improvements made.
Crime is very high, but only in certain pockets of the city. I've been here my whole life and have never been a victim of any crime.
Infrastructure is crumbling in many areas. In the 80s and 90s, Rockford was considered the Most Average town in the U.S., which caused many chain stores and restaurants to want to locate here to test the waters. Urban sprawl resulted, and now we have a bounty of abandoned, crumbling buildings unless they are on the very far east side.
Downtown is experiencing a rebirth, which is encouraging. Upscale lofts and apartments are being developed, restaurants are thriving, and public gatherings, like the City Market and Friday Night Flix, are growing in popularity. Downtown needs a grocery store and drug store to encourage more residents to move there.
Rockford is a beautiful city. Its Forest City moniker is well-earned. Rockford has a history and a soul, long-standing local businesses and restaurants, a superb park district, world-class golf courses, a river, several fantastic museums, and plenty for families to do almost every weekend. Aside from the schools, it's actually a great place to raise kids.
Highest level of education:5 years college
Well, the hillbilly's were shipped up here from the south during the job boom decades ago. Rockford, trying to get cheap unskilled labor, actually advertised "Need a job? come to Rockford" in poverty stricken places in the south, especially in Arkansas. They reproduce like rabbits and many don't value education, are racist, and, well, they're poor ignorant rednecks and they brought their racism with them. Ever wonder why NIU is in "farm town" Dekalb? because Rockford didn't want the anti-Vietnam college kids, they wanted to keep Rockford a "working class town" I've lived in many places in America and came back here because of family and it is the worst place I've ever lived in. Rockford is like Compton, CA meets Hicksboro, AR
Changes? Move all the people who came up here from the south along with all their children and grand children back down to Cousinloven Alabama. Take all the Baby daddies, gang members, and section 8 baby momma's back to Chi town or the south. Than bulldose the meth hillbilly trailers and shanty shacks located between 11st and Kishwakee on Sandy Hollow and put in a university. Than Rockford should sue Rockford "Craptop" Blacktop for 700,000,000+ the money the tax payers gave them to "fix" the roads without warranty. Turn the dozens of Rockford Craptop quarries into rec parks. Put in a casino on the river, decriminalize marijuana, put in sidewalks and bike lanes, stop busing, put an arena out by bypass 20. Bulldose Joe Behr & Son's recycling make them build a new one in the middle of Blackhawk Island with the money they have hidden under mattresses, in the backyard, in their shoes etc....
Rockford is a nasty place. There is a group of folks who bought up many of the old downtown buildings and are always trying to get the rich to move in, so they can spend their money on this groups stores, and to keep the rest of the people out. There was plans a couple of years ago to open a dollar store near downtown, the "group" screamed and cried and managed to keep it out. The current mayor is also part of this group, too much of a good ole boys system there. You are not welcome in downtown rockford unless you bring money. Once you spend it, they want you to move on. Rockford will never get reborn unless all it's citizens are welcome, not just a small group of them.
Really high property taxes and crappy schools seem to be systemic in Rockford.
Age: Parent age
Zip Code: Near West 'burbs of Chicago (with a lot of family in Rockford)
Highest level of education: post-graduate
Homeowner (Y/N): Y
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