Monday, July 28, 2008

Hilltop residents looking for help

Hilltop residents looking for help'Continuing gun violence is why my Hilltop is falling apart,' Kraus said in a recent interview. 'The No. 1 key to turning a neighborhood around is safety. It takes political will to allocate the money.'
Well, to begin, for the record, Post Gazette info on the main character of this story is off. The woman they refer to is an insurance case manager at Children's Hospital which is a bit different from being an audiologist!

As for the statement by Mr. Kraus, it is typical.

A lack of safety will turn a neighborhood to the worse.

However, a blanket of safety will NOT turn a neighborhood to a thriving, dynamic place. Being safe and feeling safe will help, of course. But, safety is not the key to prosperity.

Living under an authoritarian state can be very safe. Having police at every corner can be safe. But, there is more. Much, much more. And, by more, I do not mean more wire taps, more drug busts, more DUI check points, more remote cameras, more grocery stores even.

Furthermore, there is not a clear connection between 'political will' and 'allocation of money.'

Bruce Kraus if brimming with political will to allocate money. He'll give to his political pals. He'll take from his political foes. He'll nag about politics and cry for more political will. He is a politician, two-faced and without logic -- as the politicians around here have been trained to behave.

I don't scorn political will. Just those who discount it on one hand and expect it on the other.

The real issue I have is the connection of political will and money. This is what Kraus and the others on Grant Street fail to understand. There is no money left in the budget. They want to spend like this is Pittsburgh in the 1960s. They want to give away stuff to places where there is political will. They want to buy votes. They want to bribe folks into moving here. They want to spend our money and have that be understood as an investment into the community from the politicians.

The political will walking around money is gone. Tom Murphy and the ones that came before Bruce Kraus have spent it all.

All the hanging baskets of plants and lipstick on the business district with the right shades of paint can't fix this city again. They don't get it. That isn't safe for anyone of us.

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