By Michael Gecan
An established neighborhood organizer outlines the way to opposite the fifty-year decline in social mobility and financial growth.
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Additional info for After America's Midlife Crisis (Boston Review Books)
But waiting for most to act or blaming them when they do not are often not constructive responses. This puts the michael gecan burden of thinking and acting back on a new type of civic leader: a volunteer with a real following in a local community, but also with a range of analysis and understanding that crosses town or county or city boundaries. The renewal of most of the failed cities of the failed state of Ohio—Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown, Sandusky, Lorain, and many others—depends on men and women who live in and care about those cities.
In that pleasant synagogue meeting space, with the last of the new McMansions going up across the street, with 60,000 more workers commuting in to DuPage each day than commuting out, with the local football teams on the rise and the SAT and ACT scores still high, I suggested that perhaps the county had hit its own high-water mark and that without clear-eyed re-evaluation, it was poised, as Chicago had been in the mid-1950s, for decline. DuPage is not alone, of course. In Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York, in Montgomery and Baltimore Counties in Maryland, in Bergen and Essex and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey, in almost every mature suburb in the Northeast and Midwest and mid-South, families face these same conditions.
For more recent immigrants, the city has been stripped of opportunity in some places and sealed off in others. The Democratic machine and its allies have fought an increasingly costly rear-guard action for nearly half a century. At the end of that period, the image of the city has been burnished, but Chicago is basically broke. Housing abandonment, homelessmichael gecan ness, and foreclosure rates are all at historic highs. 34 public school children were murdered during the 2006-7 school year alone.
After America's Midlife Crisis (Boston Review Books) by Michael Gecan