Long time readers of this blog know that on several occasions I have identified Alan Jennings with hypocrisy. I generally stand alone with this accusation; Most people do not have my combination of institutional memory, independence and total lack of political correctness. Jennings' enterprises concern the poor and minorities, sacred cows among the diplomatic. I don't suffer self delusion well; On that note, CUNA (Congregations United for Neighborhood Action) is going to meet with Pawlowski* about the benefits and housing that the arena's NIZ can bring to low income residents of center city. What doesn't CUNA understand? The intention of the arena is to push that demographic away from 8th and Hamilton. City Center Investment Corporation speaks only of upscale apartments in phase 2. CUNA is an naive Johnny Come Lately, asking to be told lies. Enough of this sweet talk, back to Jennings. He published a commentary in the Easton Express, urging the suburbs to support the arena project. Jennings is a member of the NIZ Board. As such, I would think he should concern himself with it's just implementation, and leave the defending and promoting to the paid professionals. Previously, I took Jennings to task about using government money to train minority entrepreneurs, while standing silently by, while 34 minority businesses were displaced for the Palace of Sport. He now ignores the fact that J.B. Riley will be using over $7 million in cigarette tax to fund his speculative office buildings. Those millions would normally be going to fund CHIP, providing health insurance for low income children. I understand that Jennings is motivated to use his prestige to curry favor with grantmeisters, such as Pawlowski and Browne; But, when he promotes a program which has forsaken the poor, especially the children, he's putting his organization's budget ahead of it's mission.
*by Devon Lash/The Morning Call/April 8, 2012