Councilman Wants to Target Block Grant Money

The Councilman who led the fight for prevailing wage and is leading the campaign for living wages now wants to divvy up the Federal block grant in a way that focuses on poor neighborhoods. At issue appears to be $675,000 in money Council members are allowed to use in their own districts. Mr. Burgess wants the money directed to neighborhoods with the greatest need.

Assume there are 20 in-need neighborhoods. $675,000 would amount to $37,500 for each neighborhood. Does anyone believe that amount of money will make a significant difference in a neighborhood? In light of the enormous amounts of aid being poured into poor neighborhoods in the form of welfare, low income housing, medical aid, education dollars, food stamps, etc., why would anyone think that a few more dollars are going to fix any of the underlying problems? Number one on that list: The lack of employed people earning their own way and providing neighborhood stability. Crime rates that keep jobs away, failure to take advantage of education opportunities would are also important.

Mr. Burgess should understand that if throwing tax dollars at poor neighborhoods would solve their problem, those problems would have long since been solved.