Sep 9, 2015
Sitting Down With Alan Jennings
Even though I put aside his printout without looking at it, Jennings was very open to my questions. He thinks that people who criticize him for being so corporate, don't understand his strategy for successfully helping people. He believes that he must interact with the movers and shakers, if he and his organization are going to have the ways and means to benefit the community. He defended his falling out with CUNA as having offered that organization his inside status, to achieve the same goals for Allentown's less fortunate. He had requested to be on the NIZ board, through his friendship and rapport with Ed Pawlowski. He claims that his real concern is not the NIZ district itself, but how it affects the greater surrounding neighborhood. He sees himself not as another human services guy, but as an economic developer, for the underclass. He believe that the best way to improve poor intercity neighborhoods is to help the most ambitious of those residents achieve ownership, so that they stay there, and help improve the area, instead of just moving up and out. He seems introspective and somewhat realistic about the NIZ and Allentown. Realism is a relative term, needless to say, he doesn't have my view on things. On the other hand, he is willing to submit himself to a critical blogger like myself, he called me, albeit with an agenda. He offered that I should call him if I have further concerns about anything, I won't. He will have to read about them here, just like everybody else.