Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Group rallies - PittsburghLIVE.com

Group rallies - PittsburghLIVE.com Making the city's neighborhoods safe is a matter of prioritizing, said the Rev. Lee Walls, of Calvary Baptist Church in the Hill District.

'If we can make it safe for the Fifth Avenue corridor, we ought to make it safe for Frankstown Avenue,' Walls said. 'We ought to make it safe for North Murtland Avenue. We ought to make it safe for Centre Avenue. We ought to make it safe for Warrington Avenue.'
There is much to say about this statement and the article(s) about the youth violence. But, the first assumption is the big "IF" at the top. If we can make it safe for Fifth Avenue corridor... but we can't even do that. I would contend that downtown isn't "safe." So, we can't make it safe there -- even when it is a priority.

People of Pittsburgh need to realize that we are a small town. The city isn't big enough any more to have pockets of great dispair. I feel that we are all connected.

Case in point: IF Duquesne city (not Duq University) goes down the tubes, or Wilkinsburg, or Sto Rox, -- or Arlington -- we all suffer. But it isn't "IF" -- now it is "WHEN" and it is "HERE."

We have pockets of dysfunctional systems. They need to be fixed. All of them need serious solutions. We are not able to hang-out in bedroom communities and pass the buck to those in these quagmires to pull themselves to modern, reasoned, prosperity. No way. It isn't going to happen.

For these reasons, core reasons, we can't be parochial. City council and the city school board -- and even county council has been full of pin-headed parochial agendas.

A parochial pathway is sure to lead to the city's and region's continual downward spiral.

The city school district needs to plan and evenutally take over the failed schools of Duquesne. Do it. Fix that mess. Save those kids. Resolve that problem because as that area of the Mon Valley flounders -- so too does the city. The problems there are sure to be our problems around the next bend.

We can't allow the URA to build a parking garage on Second Avenue -- because the URA is generally about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer.

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