Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Southwest Philadelphia--The Step Child of the City.....

The Step Child of the CIty -- South West Philadelphia...

By Brother Tracy Gibson

No body ever talks about it much. No body wants to admit how She is suffering. People would rather ignore Southwest Philadelphia and Her issues and concerns because there is little hope there and little concerted and consistent effort on the part of the social, economic, religious and political establishment to do ANYTHING to help Southwest Philadelphia--a section of the city that we mentally sweep under the rug each day. I'm pulling the rug back and looking at how to heal this community.
There are very few stores and unemployment is probably higher here than it is in ALL the other sections of the City including even North Philadelphia.  But Southwest Philadelphia has children and teens living there who need to be nurtured, cared for and loved properly just like other sections of the City including Central City and West Philadelphia.  My late father was a Real Estate investor and a landlord.  He always said ``Location, Location, Location,'' when he was in the market to select a new property to buy and he would never, ever think about buying property in what is perceived of as a destitute, lonely, poor and isolated section of the City such as Southwest Philadelphia.
My real and present concern is how do we, as investors and concerned North Americans and concerned and caring Philadelphians, start a process to refurbish and rebuild Southwest Philadelphia and offer hope, jobs and decent livelihoods, good schools and other opportunities to these people {our People} without displacing and economically destabilizing this oppressed and historic neighborhood? How does that happen? I will be doing the research and writing to find out just how to answer this question. 
I don't think even the Philadelphia Police look forward to being assigned to Southwest Philadelphia.  But, there are thousands of people in Southwest Philadelphia who like many of us, are struggling to make it through school and university; make it to a job that doesn't pay enough; or make something healthy for dinner.  These people often live in deplorable and depressing conditions and have to fend for themselves against great odds.  They are often the first fired and the last hired and the first to come up against a hostile criminal justice system.  They often have to decide between clothing, food and medicine--and often have to do without basic necessities we often take for granted.
They also have the problems that many of us face--no place to buy nutritious foods at a good price; no decent movie theaters; no reasonably-priced vibrant and lively restaurants to choose from; no theater to speak of; and only a few failing schools and out-of-date community centers to attend important meetings, gatherings and social and political events at.
Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm hoping someone will write and tell me, if I am, but I want to know more about Southwest Philadelphia and I' hope any of you who live there and want to tell these stories, will send me an e-mail so I might start researching and writing on the subject of Southwest Philadelphia and how to change Her into another vibrant, thriving section of the city without displacing the crucial indigenous people who have lived, worked, and purchased items there for generations. 
This section of the City needs life and attention and financial investment more than just about any other section.  Why open another store or restaurant in Central City when there is such need right under our noses? Write me at BLockBoi75@Yahoo.Com
If the People of Southwest want to start to pull themselves up economically they have little opportunities to do so because there are so few viable and profitable stores owned by the most oppressed in he community.  They need OUR help. If you know of any people in Southwest--that is the area emanating from 56th and Elm wood Street--please let me know. I promise to do a series of articles on Southwest's most dedicated and successful social activists if I can get hold of some of them.  Also, I promise to advocate for this section of the city in other ways as well, such as talking with and meeting with the area's politicians, business leaders, civic leaders and religious leaders to make things better for Southwest and Her people.  I KNOW there are some dedicated and successful social activists in this area.  If you know some of the community groups in the area or some of the names of politicians and religious leaders there--PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I CAN BE REACHED AT: 1-215-471-64.94.   MORE TO COME!!! 

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