Monday, October 08, 2007

Day 2: Tully Looks At Crime And Children In The Phoenix

Lots of children live in the Phoenix where the place is "filled with late-night fights, frequent gunfire and front-door access to the most crime-ridden residential block in the city," Star political columnist Matt Tully writes. Tully continues his second in a series of reports on the city's worst neighborhood. A graph depicting the number and types of crimes from 2002 to 2006 illustrates how bad it is: 301 assaults; 3 homicides; 5 rapes; and 28 robberies. As compelling as Tully's report is, a Star editorial on the subject today comes up short. It reads, in part:

It is easy to understand why nearly all have given up on cleaning up Edgemere Court, the most crime-ridden block in the city.

Charter schools, workshops, stepped-up patrols, even the opening of a Cub Foods supermarket have been brought in to improve life for the impoverished residents inside the squalid Northeastside cul-de-sac. Nothing, however, has freed the neighborhood and Phoenix Apartments, the complex inside it, from bullet-riddled windows, crumbling steps and gun-toting fugitives.

But if Indianapolis hopes to stem rising crime, it can't afford to ignore Edgemere Court or neighborhoods like it. City officials and community leaders must step up and sustain efforts to sweep away the mayhem and urban decay . . .

None of this can work without grass-roots efforts. Community programs such as Save the Youth, run by former Edgemere Court resident Byron Alston, can provide hope to the youths mired in the squalor.

Far too many innocent lives have fallen prey to the dangers in neighborhoods like Edgemere Court. An aggressive turnaround is the key to making the city safer, and stemming needless bloodshed.

The editorial is noticeably missing any mention of who has been in charge of city government for the past 8 years and owes us some accountability for the inaction. The newspaper really defeats the impact of Tully's reporting if it is simply going to let Peterson and the Democrats off the hook this easily.


Anonymous said...

The story presents the sad reality of the creation of a permanent underclass, perpetuated by The Democrat Machine & likes of Amos Brown or blogger Wilson Allen. They refuse to see the brutal reality of what they do.

Martin Luther King addressed the problem of the underclass best when he said "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
More money into failed social programs perpetuates this cycle.

The Democrat Machine (inclding blogger Wilson Allen) & radio racist Amos Brown exploit the wasted lives and doomed children to boost their own agenda or careers, poisoning the city's political & social climate as they do it.

There is a better way to respond, the right way. It is void of the corruption of The Democrat Machine & likes of Amos Brown. It takes courage & creativity NOT found in Machine politics. There must be an acknowledgement that not every member of the underclass can be reached, but for many the chain can be broken if provided the resources. The violence, dependency and family breakdown that permeate The Meadows extract a terrible price from the rest of society. All Indianapolis residents have a vital stake in this. Nobody in this city, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, should ignore the tragedy of young children who will never realize their potential because they never had a chance. The first leaders in this city who have the courage to illuminate the problem and gain support for solutions will earn a well-deserved respected place in our city's history.

Of all the characterictics that those who have escaped poverty hold in common, nnothing stands out like personal pride, the stories of some parent or friend who gave them pride or, at least, presented a model of success, no matter how humble. Without pride nobody can believe in himself or his own ability to improve his condition...and even with it, people still need direction because pride itself can turn into a burden.

Negative examples of pride also are too abundant, the unskilled poorly educated youth who turns down a job because "it pays only minimum wage," the young welfare mother who refuses to go to school because she cannot afford $200 tennis shoes or glamourous clothes. This is a misdirected pride that forces the cycle of dependency and underclass to perpetuate.

Welfare should be a TEMPORARY stopgap for the poor, but the fact is, today, welfare recipients have no shame about staying on the public dole, feeling they are "entitled" to get something for nothing. Government & faith-based organizations have a duty to help provide the ESCAPE HATCH for these people.

Real leaders will not throw more welfare dollars or pity or preaching, but the chance to be productive citizens participating in the American dream.

Anonymous said...

Gary you come off as a bitter partisan. The problems on Edgemere Court didn't start in the past eight years.

Anonymous said...

Much violent crime stems from
access to guns. Toughen up on prosecuting gun crimes, citywide,
and violent crime should decrease.

Anonymous said...

Section 8 is the worst thing this country has ever done. If you think about it, it is nothing more than a reward for bad behavior. You don't have/can't keep a job so we give you an almost free apartment. You have a kid(s) out of wedlock and when you turn 18, you get your own pad paid for. Funny how democrats say it takes a village to raise a kid, yet they don't force unresponsible people to live within a village. We should gut Section 8 and force unresponsible young people to live with their parents, grandparents, or other relatives. At least then there might be someone with a brain living under the roof. Someone who knows right and wrong and could help protect the children.

If we have a serious economic downturn, these welfare babylons will be the first to go up in flames in the riots that follow.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 8:55, give me a break. The mayor has had 8 years to do something about the problems in this neigbhorhood. Can you identify any steps he has taken during this time? No, you can't. You can bet the Democrats would be accusing the Republicans of being callous and cold racists who don't care about the plight of the inner city poor if the shoe were on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

How about that charter school the Mayor chartered. I would say that is doing something, wouldn't you Gary?

Anonymous said...

anon 8:55, give me a break. The mayor has had 8 years to do something about the problems in this neigbhorhood. Can you identify any steps he has taken during this time? No, you can't.

I can. Bart help pushed for funding of a football stadium using slot machine taxes. In the end, he pushed for, and got, various taxes in Marion Co. raised to pay for the new football stadium. He then went out and got a bunch of private business to donate tens of millions to give to the NFL, a rich organization to start with, in hopes of getting a special football game in the future. During this time, the federal government cut HUD funding. The local HUD offices were no longer able to keep their police department. Local media asked about the city/state bailing it out, but that never happened. Our focus is to tax food and beverages to pay for sports, not extra cops, so a small, specialized police force was gutted. While this specific complex does not fall under Indy Housing Authority, the simple fact is that birds of a feather flock together. The same thugs in these projects hangout and commit crimes in Indy Housing Authority projects. Not only that, by not trying to secure some sort of funding for housing PD, IPD (now IMPD) then had to be used to respond to calls once taken by housing PD. So you see, Bart has been pro-active in doing something.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 11:26, a charter school was Greg Porter's response to Tully. Has a charter school made a difference at the Phoenix?

Anonymous said...

Well, when a child from the Pheonix speaks of his desire to be a scientist because of the education provided to him by the charter school, then yes, it has made a difference.

By the way, don't you think it is odd that Rep. Porter pointed to the charter school as a success, when he, himself, is the biggest opponant to charter schools?

Anonymous said...

Gary, what have [b]you[/b] done to help solve the problems of the inner-city poor?

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon said, "Gary, what have [b]you[/b] done to help solve the problems of the inner-city poor?"

I pay my taxes and behave myself like any good citizen. I don't hold an elective office, and I haven't been appointed by any of the idiots running the show in this town to sit on any board or commission where I might make a difference. I live in a council district that is minority-dominated and will only elect the likes of Patrice Abduallah or a grandson of Julia Carson to represent it. We know that Abduallah's one-time home in the district was nothing but a neighborhood eyesore in a crime-ridden area of town, and we know the Carson family's history of taking care of themselves first and leaving it to others to fend for themselves. I like it how the apologist for the Democrats want to blame anyone but the people who are in office for the problems besetting this city. I guess you think I'm to blame because I don't risk my life running citizen patrols up in this God-forsaken place they call the Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

Gary, if you live in that district and you are a republican, why didn't you run and give the people of the district a choice? Persoanlly I have high expectations for Andre Carson and I think that he will live up to them. Time will tell.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 6:48, the sad truth is that the GOP didn't want to run a candidate in the district. It is heavily Democratic and they would rather the seat go unchallenged than give the Democrats any reason to turn out votes in this heavily Democratic district. I personally have no desire to run in a district where on the best day I couldn't get more than 25% of the vote because it is that heavily Democratic.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary, you can always come down and hang out with me here in Greenwood--our county government spawned our favorite Republican, Brent Waltz! lol

We've even got Mr. "In God We Trust" himself, Woody Burton. He almost bought the house across the street from me several years ago, what interesting neighbors we would have been huh?

Gary R. Welsh said...

LOL, Jeff. Yeah, I understand Woody does more than just sell houses in Greenwood.