Fifteen months ago, the Mayor of our fine city hired Donna Brown (no relation) to serve as Deputy Mayor. Her top priority was to be the creation of an anti-poverty plan. Fifteen months and $115,000 in salary later, it was finally released yesterday.
(A side note: you can now download a PDF listing the salaries of all city employees from the city web site. If you want something even more appalling and depressing than my blog, that’s where to go.)
I haven’t read the plan yet, but from the summary in the News, it looks like a complete waste of time. It’s nothing but an enumeration of everything that’s already in place, and a weak imploring to do more collaboration and communication.
No unified plan for demolitions.
Nothing like a plan for shrinking the city (a la Youngstown).
No specific measures for job training or creation.
Apparently, not even anything about reforming a school district with a 29% on-time graduation rate.
Just an inventory of the programs that have already helped make us America’s third-poorest city. Great. That was a hundred-plus thousand dollars well-spent. Obviously, what we’re doing now _doesn’t work_. We need new ideas, new programs, new initiatives. Staying the course is pretty stupid when the course is this rocky.
Naturally, the plan was presented to a handpicked group of “community activists”, people like the head of the Community Action Organization, who don’t seem to do a whole lot besides suck up grant money. I suppose a public audience would be too much to ask for. The public’s job is to pay for things that don’t work, and then to shut up and pay some more.