Apr 4, 2016

Political Correctness and Allentown

Pawlowski helps feed some of the many poor who have moved here under his watch

The Library Of Congress is changing the term illegal alien to unauthorized immigrant,  to be less offensive.  On that note,  those easily offended should not continue reading beyond this point.

In 2005, at a NAACP sponsored event, I introduced the concept that Allentown was becoming a poverty magnet. An officer of that organization, who was also an employee of CACLV, asked me to prove that I wasn't a racist, since so many of the poor people moving to Allentown were of color. In 2005, even mention of a poverty magnet was unacceptable. The Morning Call reporter, assigned to cover the 2005 mayoral election, while generally marginalizing my candidacy as an independent, jumped on the chance to publicize the controversy.  Now, in 2016, the consequences of the poverty magnet is part of city planning. Alan Jennings himself has adopted the phrase in the last few years.  Allentown's trying to induce mixed income housing into center city. Yesterday, the Morning Call had an article about the mass migration to Allentown from Puerto Rico in the last decade. Unfortunately, a disproportionate part of that population limits itself to low income, by making Social Security Disability a career choice. However, that's a taboo subtopic, that is still years away, if ever,  from public discussion.

Despite Elton John coming to perform at a new arena,  Allentown has become a much poorer place in the last ten years.  The streets are strewn with litter, and the middle class avoids the school system.  Social programs that make Allentown an attractive landing spot for transients should be reevaluated for their long term consequences on the city.

I don't believe that Allentown is currently being well served by political correctness.  At any rate, it is not on the menu at this blog.


Dave said...

Mr Molovinski

The cancer known as poverty really infected Allentown in the 1970s when large numbers of boomers left the city for the townships, and our city government welcomed large numbers of the dependent class from New York and Philadelphia. And over the past 40 years, its just gotten worse. The change from an industrial base to a service-based economy meant a large number of middle-class industrial workers have left for other places, replaced by lower-wage workers in the service sector. The City has responded over the years by putting money into center city, but the city overall, has declined, the quality of the schools have declined, the parks have been ignored in favor of trying to keep up the business district, that is a shell of its former self. The NIZ is simply the latest, and most visible effort to reverse the fortunes of the city. The underlying fundamentals can't be changed with a few blocks costing billions, when hundreds of other blocks outside the NIZ are ignored. When the government money runs out, so will the lights inside the NIZ.

But Allentown is not alone. It's Pennsylvania. It's many things, de-industralization, high taxes, lack of opportunity for the next generation of workers. How can this be reversed? I don't know. The welfare state is not going to end anytime soon. We aren't going to return to the society we had before LBJ where a hungry stomach was the best motivator in life. Progressive politicians such as Pawlowski will insure that never happens, as that is their base of political support. And Pawlowski is not the last, as those who don't agree with his philosophy have long left Allentown for greener pastures.

Rich Fegley said...

No one in this town wants to talk openly and honestly about anything.

To be politically correct in the Lehigh Valley you need to just shut up.

And wait for the FBI.

michael molovinsky said...

dave@6:55, as someone who managed apartments in allentown between 4th and 12th street for 35 years, this post is based on informed observation. although you refer to the transition in the northeast from industry to rustbelt, I micro-report allentown's changes in center city. these changes began in late 80's.

when i graduated allen in the mid 60's, pa. dutch was the prominent culture, the town was prosperous and designated the all american city. now the prominent culture is spanish, more precisely puerto rican, and poor. i certainly do NOT consider this a cancer, rather the new reality. allentown's hispanics are now starting to cultivate a middle class, and i believe things will only improve.

George Ruth said...

MM, you are so right about Social Security Disability becoming a lifestyle. I suggest any doubters stop by the Social Security office on 4th Street and take note of the percentage of people way 'under' retirement age who are awaiting service.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

While we often hear people saying that a conversation is needed on race, poverty, etc. What they really are saying is shut up and we will tell you what you need to do to improve whatever the issue should be. If any opposing idea is brought up, you are then silenced by being labeled racist, xenophobic, islamaphobic, or whatever adjective they can add to make any opposing argument lack credibility. I once suggested to a local representative in Allentown, that community block watches should be formed to police their neighborhoods, to work with police to stop crime and vandalism. He thought this was an outrageous idea. I explained the solution for a sound city is an environment that would encourage people with good incomes to live in the city. Many Hispanic customers of mine complained that people often sold drugs on the street in front of his residence, when he called the police nothing was done,there was also the fear of the danger to their children and of reprisals if he was found to have called police. While many people are poor, they are not necessarily criminal, and what is needed is leadership to work with the residents to make the city a safe place to live. But most are more concerned with pandering by offering benefits or blaming white society for the misfortunes of others. I suspect their is a thirst for the good citizens of most cities for real leadership, not feel good attempts of big spending projects, but block by block reform for people to take pride in their communities, sadly I don't see anything like that on the horizon.

Jamie Kelton said...

I admit that both my husband and I grew up in Allentown, but we live today in the suburbs, and we don't go into Allentown all that much. There just really isn't anything there other than maybe a trip to the Ritz or to the old Yoccos on Liberty Street. Although going down to that part of town at night is dangerous.

Away from Hamilton Street, there is a vibrant small business section along 7th street, and we've been to the new supermarket in the old Sears Building. The rest of the city has gone to hell in a hand basket from what it was when I grew up however.

I just wonder what Emma Tropiano would think of Allentown today ?

michael molovinsky said...

george@9:02, years back i did a specific post on disability, weather permitting, i'll try and repost it this week.

jamie@9:49, if you go to yocco's the 1st occasionally, you spend much more time in Allentown than many others. when i reprint my disability post, i'll pair it with my emma post.

Jamie Kelton said...

My aunt went to Allen with Julie Iacocca. Although he and Al, the guy who used to run the grill behind the counter at Yoccos have both retired, there really isn't any other one than the original. That said, sometimes we'll go to the one out by Cedar Crest but it's not as good.

doug_b said...

There are more people on SSDI, than the population of Greece. There are more people on SNAP than the population of Spain.

Go to the SS office - there are a lot of 30 - 40 year old people waiting for service. The women are in the office, the men are in the parking lot.

Remember that the accusation is stronger than the truth. This is how the left works: simply label you a racist (because of an opinion) - then you are 'neutralized'. Then the left repeats it's false narrative trying to make it the truth.

Scott Armstrong said...


Just testing out my new Google account. I was never politically correct on the school board and was removed by the voters. I say thanks for that. Of course these same voters think just being a Republican is politically incorrect.

ironpigpen said...

Allentown's NIZ is too big to fail so the FBI won't be coming ... but Hillary and eight more long years of divisive left-wing, in-your-face politically correct crapola is.

The Lame Stream Media will ensure it and the disgusting establishment Republicans will go along to get along because they won't want to lose their place, albeit a minority one, among the ruling class.

I say be happy and buy lots of tickets to the $ 177.1 million dollar Pawlowski Palace of Sport.

aTimeforChoosing1980 said...

I hate to say it but if Elton John is playing Allentown it says as much about his career than it does Allentown. He can fill The Garden or Wells Fargo. The PPL Plaza promoter, Live Nations, is calling in some chips to get an act like Elton John. Much like the Sands shows many of those acts 'owe' the Sands shows in Bedlum in order to play Vegas or China.