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Old 10-05-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,050,291 times
Reputation: 3317

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Ok, here goes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
There are several major inaccuracies in the OP. Just because one's mother does not remember major problems in her city before the 60's does not mean they were not there. People often remeber with rose colored glasses what life was like then because it was fairly uneventful and quality for them. By no means does that mean that the reality was like that for all citizens.
When did I say that cities were utopias prior to the 1960s? Of course there were problems. You can't have an urban area without problems, its not possible. What was true prior to the 1960s is that there were jobs to be had in the cities and there were middle class people who worked at those jobs and lived in the cities. You cannot dispute the fact that prior to the 1960s Trenton had a middle class that was doing well economically. Granted, that majority was white, but it was still there. You also cannot dispute that once the middle class left that it had a negative overall effect on the city. Let's be honest here-while I am optimistic about the future of Trenton, it's hardly paradise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Towns like Hoboken and Red Bank are very different from Newark and Patterson. Red Bank never had any of the quality of life issues you are referencing and is really a suburban town. Hoboken was never that bad either save a few areas and it has a unique location to help it out anyway. Gays did not start the revival of Hoboken. Anyone who was there would remember this. Yes there were artists (some may have been gay who knows) but that was not what happened and there is no way Asbury Park will follow the same path. It is in a totally different setting- smack dab in the middle of suburbia and that makes a huge difference. There were always gay clubs and gay people in Asbury- you can go back more than 30 years and see that.
The title of my post was not "Gays Will Save the World." They're just one of the many groups who are returning to cities because they have the luxury of not worrying about the substandard schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
If someone posting here really knew something about NJ they would be able to differentiate between these areas. But as usual we get so many posts here with tons of misinformation- nothing new. I just wonder why this is. Is it because the posters live elsewhere?
Born in Trenton, raised in Hamilton/Trenton, still living in Hamilton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
I have never been sure. If you want to see life improve anywhere, you might want to refrain from using words like animal and thug in every other post. Most everyone is aware of the realities in these places including the people who live there now. You can't care about a place and have such a high disregard for its people. A recipe for more failure.
I used the phrase "let the animals kill each other" to illustrate the ugly truth about how most white suburbanites view our cities. People who live in the outlying areas of Trenton just take the attitude that if you ignore it, it will go away, but instead, the problems simply spread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
OP knows very little about the people who live in these areas currently except their negative attributes. Interesting. Another thread about how middle class whites need to swoop in and become role models for African-Americans.
So if there are already tons of great role models in our cities, then why do we need organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA/YWCA? Why are kids joining gangs? Why aren't more of them graduating from high school? Our cities are plagued by dysfunction caused in large part by the concentration of poverty. Part of that is caused by suburbs dumping their affordable housing requirements on cities, which ultimately deny mostly minority children the right to attend a good school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
I don't know of anyone who considers Booker the next anything.
Oh sure, I mean the guy is just a Stanford graduate with a J.D. from Yale and a Rhodes Scholar to boot who decided to take that education to the worst housing project in Newark to start a non-profit to fight slumlords. Nothing remarkable about him whatsoever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Especially for people from other states who can't seem to stop posting on this forum about their local cred and their future dream house plans. Please.
Again, born and raised in New Jersey, looking to build a home in New Jersey, and will die and be buried in New Jersey.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:03 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,412,623 times
Reputation: 334
Default A Booker Backer

Fine but most of them do seem to live outside of NJ which is very telling. The jury is out on him from what I read. I am not up to date on Newark but it is obvious that he does not enjoy widespread support in town. There is a reason for this.

Your OP had inaccuracies in it. Your Mom's memories are sweet but it is not the whole story and riots don't spring from nothing. If you are such a native of NJ why not challenge yourself a little and try to learn a little more about the state. Places like Red Bank are worlds apart from Newark. Community activists need to be supported in places like Newark. They are often great role models themselves and don't need schooling from the middle-class. Most of the middle-class has no idea of what they are up against.

Booker seems to be at odds with these people and if Newark does improve under him my prediction is -it will be a tale of two cities. The improvements will be in one section of town with the rest of the area with little or no change.

These cities each have their own history and you paint with a broad brush. It is hard to believe that a native would do that. Knowledge of these areas seems lacking to me on your OP and on your posts from the Sprawl thread as well.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:40 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,050,291 times
Reputation: 3317
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Fine but most of them do seem to live outside of NJ which is very telling. The jury is out on him from what I read. I am not up to date on Newark but it is obvious that he does not enjoy widespread support in town. There is a reason for this.
The reason is that Newark is suffering from years of mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility. As a result Booker is having to make tough decisions that make people some people angry. Please don't act as though balancing Newark's books is some easy task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Your OP had inaccuracies in it.
Such as?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Your Mom's memories are sweet but it is not the whole story and riots don't spring from nothing.
Well, sorry-my mother is Irish/Italian and lived in an Irish/Italian neighborhood. However, what are you getting at? I did mention that racism and poor government housing policies wreaked havoc on cities and the people in them. I never stated that minorities in cities prior to the 1960s were leading fairy tale lives. However, any casual observer realizes that things are much worse for every group living in the inner city now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
If you are such a native of NJ why not challenge yourself a little and try to learn a little more about the state. Places like Red Bank are worlds apart from Newark.
And where did I draw a direct comparison between Newark and Red Bank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Community activists need to be supported in places like Newark.
We agree 110% on this topic, but I'll add that they need to be supported in all of our cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
They are often great role models themselves and don't need schooling from the middle-class. Most of the middle-class has no idea of what they are up against.
Are you familiar with Isles, HomeFront, TASK (Trenton Area Soup Kitchen), Planned Parenthood, Anchor House, etc...? All of these groups work hand in hand with community activists in Trenton and are funded with a combination of federal and state grants and the donations of time, money, and resources by folks in the middle class. You know, the people whose help you don't want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
These cities each have their own history and you paint with a broad brush.
So you're going to honestly say that nationwide trends in economics and racial tensions had absolutely nothing to do with with state of our inner cities today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Knowledge of these areas seems lacking to me on your OP and on your posts from the Sprawl thread as well.
Please tell me what I'm missing about sprawl-this state is becoming built out while our cities crumble and the people in them suffer. What is wrong with making the cities livable again for ALL people and preserving our open space?
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:29 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,412,623 times
Reputation: 334
The posts about the sprawl specifically are spot on as far as I am concerned. The posts about the problems in the urban areas are not. No one will argue here that people wholeheartedly love Booker. It would be a difficult job for anyone but many people don't think that Booker is the person to do it. I would not use the word remarkable to describe him. The jury is out and an ivy leaguer is not always the best person for the job. I don't buy that his problems with community leaders are his biggest roadblocks. I think he is more in line with corporate interests than anything else and many others agree. Yes it will take years to make inroads into the established corrupt core but he may not be the best person for the job. Someone with a mostly academic suburban background is not necessarily the best person to govern Newark.

Stating that cities are worse off now than in the past is not earth-shattering info. Who here does not know that? Conditions need to improve for the current residents before we start focusing on ALL people. I give money and time to organizations too but I don't mention it on these forums and I'm sure many others here do the same. People need to take back their own communities and the presence of yuppies, gays, do-gooders or whatever you want to qualify them as will not be the solution. In the other communities mentioned it has not been the solution. Certain neighborhoods have improved and become "hot" but the city services, schools, infrastructure is unchanged or worse.

The core of the city must be strengthened before worries about attracting a new middle-class are entertained. That is just common sense. The bohemians are great but they are usually people with options as are the other groups you speak of. They are not role models. They are people who saw an opportunity and ran with it sometimes at another's expense. But that is our system at work and I will not criticize. I will not put these folks on a pedestal either as they are not visionaries or conquering heroes- just people looking for a less expensive way to live. There is no big mystery there.

You are trying to post Urban studies 101 but most people already know better here. At least some of us have already lived it and know the real deal.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:24 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,050,291 times
Reputation: 3317
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
The posts about the sprawl specifically are spot on as far as I am concerned. The posts about the problems in the urban areas are not. No one will argue here that people wholeheartedly love Booker. It would be a difficult job for anyone but many people don't think that Booker is the person to do it. I would not use the word remarkable to describe him. The jury is out and an ivy leaguer is not always the best person for the job. I don't buy that his problems with community leaders are his biggest roadblocks.
I'm no Ivy Leaguer myself, I started out at community college for god's sake-I'm not worshipping the man because he has a piece of paper from Yale. I never said that problems with community leaders were roadblocks-why would they be roadblocks? If anything, the James administration was roadblocking THEM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
I think he is more in line with corporate interests than anything else and many others agree. Yes it will take years to make inroads into the established corrupt core but he may not be the best person for the job. Someone with a mostly academic suburban background is not necessarily the best person to govern Newark.
I see where this is going. Give the Newark arena at least a season or two before you condemn it ok? To address the second point, true, Booker did have a suburban upbringing, but don't you think that his tenure as a resident of the worst housing project in Newark fighting slumlords gave him SOMEWHAT of an education?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
Certain neighborhoods have improved and become "hot" but the city services, schools, infrastructure is unchanged or worse.
Agreed. It's no secret that maybe half of the children on Mill Hill in Trenton attend Trenton public schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntmac View Post
The core of the city must be strengthened before worries about attracting a new middle-class are entertained. That is just common sense. The bohemians are great but they are usually people with options as are the other groups you speak of. They are not role models. They are people who saw an opportunity and ran with it sometimes at another's expense. But that is our system at work and I will not criticize. I will not put these folks on a pedestal either as they are not visionaries or conquering heroes- just people looking for a less expensive way to live. There is no big mystery there.
I think you're really working towards portraying me as wanting to push people out. It's just not the case. Trenton was once a city of 130,000 people. Now its a city of barely 85,000. There is plenty of "room" for folks to move in without moving anybody out. Of course this has to be done carefully (ie: policies must be enacted to ensure that rents do not skyrocket, etc...), but it can be done. The other nice thing about the "bohemians" is that they tend to be progressive open minded people. I don't need to tell you that many white people move to the suburbs to get away from black people. It's an ugly fact of life. Why should "bohemians" be blamed for being open to living in diverse environments?

Look-your whole premise here is "you're white and you're from the suburbs therefore you don't understand, so butt out." Revitalizing cities takes everybody, no one group is going to do it alone.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:27 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,412,623 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post

I see where this is going. Give the Newark arena at least a season or two before you condemn it ok? To address the second point, true, Booker did have a suburban upbringing, but don't you think that his tenure as a resident of the worst housing project in Newark fighting slumlords gave him SOMEWHAT of an education?

Trenton was once a city of 130,000 people. Now its a city of barely 85,000. There is plenty of "room" for folks to move in without moving anybody out. Of course this has to be done carefully (ie: policies must be enacted to ensure that rents do not skyrocket, etc...), but it can be done. The other nice thing about the "bohemians" is that they tend to be progressive open minded people. I don't need to tell you that many white people move to the suburbs to get away from black people. It's an ugly fact of life. Why should "bohemians" be blamed for being open to living in diverse environments?

Look-your whole premise here is "you're white and you're from the suburbs therefore you don't understand, so butt out." Revitalizing cities takes everybody, no one group is going to do it alone.
As far as Booker goes- yes the jury is out. I have lived in public housing myself and acually grew up in the burbs. It does not mean he is the "man". I don't think bohemians are moving to these places looking for diversity. They are looking for a cheap place to live and that is usually the motivator. "Diversity" as a term is thrown around way too much on here.

There are areas of NJ that are very diverse and they are def not inner city areas. This is about money and yes race but "diversity" is really just a feel good phrase.

I am not condemning Newark but a little bit of everyone is not solving the problem. You are looking in the wrong places. Everything you are referencing has been implemented in some form or fashion in the past. I originated in the burbs and have done major time in some very urban areas. It is not about butting out. It is about reeducating yourself about our system before you start recycling the same old b.s.

The core must be fixed before new residents will want to invest and stay. This is old news. There have been many seasons in Newark. I hope Booker can improve things. When someone focuses on outsiders-bohemian or not-they are missing the mark completely. They are visitors in these communities in most cases. They do not live out their lives in these cities and are not vested in that sense.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:34 PM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,370 posts, read 10,126,849 times
Reputation: 3496
Thats what its all about guys and girls. Both of you have very valid points and different views. From a third party standpoint you both seem right. Oh I better go back to the Yankee game. EXTRA INNINGS.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:15 AM
 
562 posts, read 2,373,521 times
Reputation: 142
I must say that this is true in many streets.. but not all of Elizabeth is like that.. I'm surprise you found your old home with no care.. nowadays there is a large influence of Portuguese people and one thing I love about them is that they take pride in their homes.. about 99% of portuguese own homes are well kept and remodeled.. also the city is giving summons to home owners when the house is not upkept.. ie. grass is to high.. my neighbor got a fine for this.. again ..this town is under a major redevelopment and it has lots of potential..

one of the major faults why Elizabeth's redevelopment is slow is because people's misconceptions of Elizabeth.. just look at this forum.. most people commenting about Elizabeth don't know what it is like to live in a CITY environment.. they live in towns like Sayreville, Mahwa, where if you want to go to a deli or mall they must drive like 30 mins to get there.. if they want to go to the city they have to make a day long trip, as for Elizabeth residents that's like going to a mall.. and be back in 1-2 hours.. lol.. i just realize i do this too.. hehe..

Quote:
Originally Posted by CuCullin View Post
I was born in Elizabeth General Hospital, went through the Elizabeth school system, and still have friends who live there. Heres a tidbit of things that happened as we sold the house.

My dad started out his post-Vietnam family life as a truck driver, and continued going to Kean for years, improving himself to the point where he became management. He bought a simple 2 story, 3 bedroom home in Elizabeth, later finishing the basement as a play area for myself and my brother. The neighbors were similar - some were teachers, some worked in factories, some were retired and had lived there forever.

Taxes were on a steep rise, and my dad realized my brother and I could get a far better education, with costs similar to Elizabeth, elsewhere. I still don't think the schools were horrible, but I had no idea what school could be like until moving. Our playground was blacktop, we had some basketball hoops, monkey bars, etc, and it was fun. The new school had those same things - but with a rubber under the monkey bars, green grass, and a baseball field. In the new school, people came in to talk about the dangers of talking to strangers and coping with divorced parents - in Elizabeth, we had CAPP - the Child Abuse Prevention Program, who taught us how to escape if someone tried to grab us. All in all, it wasn't bad, just different.

A few months after moving out, I was visiting friends, and we decided to go by a place my friends and I used to hang out and get Slush Puppies. It was under new ownership, had bars on the windows, and looked... dirtier than it used to. We went by my old house, and instead of the well-cared for and maintained shrubs my dad used to trim and grass my dad mowed each weekend or so, everything was overgrown and disgusting. It wasn't just my old house either, the houses of friends who also moved away looked about the same, with new residents who didn't care if there was dirt on the siding, or if the driveway was cracked. My dad had left behind a few tools (mower, mulcher, etc) to the new owner, since my dad wanted a new set anyway, but they obviously went unused.

Its absolutely true that people need to have some pride before these places will truly be revitalized. Attempts at building parks, updating schools, etc, only goes so far - its the people who live there that decide the future of the city. I know I would love to see Elizabeth like I remembered it, and that was less than 20 years ago.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:29 AM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,412,623 times
Reputation: 334
I was under the impression that the criticism of Booker was widespread. This may not be the case and I don't know enough about him or his platform to post more than a small paragraph here. It is assumed that as the non-incumbent he would have enemies who stood to lose something as a result of his entering office. He is cleaning house and therefore some people will hate his guts but that is to be expected.

I was referring to a much broader kind of criticism in regard to his overall methods and relationships with political allies. Yes he should be given a chance like any other first-termer but this may just end up being one big crash course in reality for him rather than a boon for the city. Some of the media attention he has received has focused on him as "the great black hope" and this seems inappropriate on many levels. Most of this type of media attention seems to be on more of a national level. Again, I wish him well but I have my doubts that "national celebrity" and Newark Mayor are roles that compliment each other.

As far as Elizabeth goes, I think it has no buzz because it is not attractive to hipsters and the like. The attention it gets is minimal and you get different types of posts all together.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:29 PM
 
174 posts, read 380,986 times
Reputation: 92
New Jersey has a growing Hispanic population. But the over-riding relationship regarding crime, illegimatcy, poverty, unemployment, and educational deficit is still borne by the black community.
White New Jersey is no stranger to discrimination; many the Irish and Italian American has tales of prejudice against their immigrant ancestor available via family history. Though grudging concessions have been made to the black community, they have, nevertheless, been real and concrete; especially when viewed against the real discrimination also viewed by THEIR immigrant ancestors in New Jersey. A tit for tat, who had it worse scorecard serves no one. Each era was unique to itself, and each group faced unique challenges.
American society has progressed tremendously in the last sixty years, and most Americans truly are willing to continue an honest effort to "make things right". But the regular Joe is well within his rights to expect effort and responsibilty from the side he offers his hand to. So it is not unreasonable or untoward to expect just a few simple things well within the grasp of even a common laborer:

Act civil and respectful of social norms in public, at job interviews, and at work.

Graduate from High School.

Do not have a child until you are married and gainfully employed.

At least wait until you are 21 to have a child.

Do just those four things, and the social and civilizational decay of the inner city will disapear. Sure, some will still falter; but the majority will advance.

No government can forcibly induce morality, civility, or simple decency. Unless a people can acustom itself to the simple disipline of rising to go to work, to live with, cherish and raise their own children, provide them with a sense of security and worth; instill a respect for just the simple instruments of government like teachers, policemen, city officials; why are we shocked at the chaos and barbarism we now witness? No outside force can compel a man to honor and provide for his wife and children; only he as a man can decide to do that. As so many of the current illegal immigarnts prove; if you can't do it on one job, GET ANOTHER ONE. But never abandon your family, then look to another to manfully provide for them as you lead a life on indolence and gratification. Only you have the power to break this cycle.

And given the generosity of all that awaits you for even the feeblest attempt; how can you reject it?
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