Oct 29, 2009
Media and Democracy
In 2005, mayoral candidate Ed Pawlowski gave a press conference at a house in the 400 block of Liberty Street. He praised the renovated house being occupied, as typifying his vision of Allentown moving forward. The Morning Call reporter, Daryl Nerl, wrote a glowing story. I decided to research the property. It turns out that the house was passed back and forth between two low income housing agencies for six years. (Pawlowski had been Director of the Alliance for Building Communities, a low income housing agency). After the six years it was "sold" to a low income couple who defaulted on the easy loan, but also destroyed the renovated house in the process. After six more years, two more agencies, and another renovation, Pawlowski gave his press conference.
At my press conference, also attended by the media, I spelled out the problem; Twelve years, no taxes, two renovations and two unqualified "buyers" attracted to Allentown by these give away programs at the expense of the tax paying homeowners. Channel 69 ran the story, but nothing in the Morning Call. I asked Daryl if he thought the story would resonate with the public? He replied that it certainly would. I asked if he was going to print the story before the election? The story never appeared.
photo: Channel 69, Liberty Street Press Conference