Oct 7, 2013
The Future Politics of Allentown's Current Poverty
Allentown's large urban core is mired in poverty and survival. This urban poor environment, mostly hispanic, currently has little inclination toward the luxury of politics; This is why we have a Pawlowski for mayor, instead of a Diaz. The arena project is not on their minds, nor will it effect their lives in any way. Allentown's current middle class, remaining in the outer neighborhoods, have divorced themselves mentally from Allentown's new reality. They have a nice house, with taxes relatively less than urban areas east of Pennsylvania. Their children are grown, and many have moved away, at least to the outlining boroughs. Although they read the local paper and shake their heads about the problems in center city, their streets and quality of life remain quiet, clean and acceptable. Allentown has the problems of much larger urban areas, a consequence of it's strategic location. I believe that conditions in Allentown will slowly improve, not because of any arena or other white elephant, but because a hispanic middle class is evolving. As the Latino population enters it's second generation, a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other ethnic institutions will steer their demographic into a middle class. In the future, Allentown may well be the leading hispanic city in the northeast.