In the meantime, I'd love to hear your ideas for future shows. What do you see as the most important or interesting issues in our community? Who has a perspective that isn't being heard? Send me your suggestions.
Until January, have a great holiday season and enjoy winter!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
This week on
His work raises interesting and troubling questions about the changing nature of work and the dynamics of race and class in American cities. Day laboring includes both jobs assigned by employment agencies that specialize in “work today, get paid today” labor, mostly in construction and landscaping, and the jobs workers get by standing on the right street corner and being picked up by a homeowner or contractor. In both cases, workers are at risk of workplace accidents, because the workers often have neither safety equipment nor safety training, and many don’t speak English. Worse, they run the risk of not getting paid at all, and when they do get paid, they usually receive just the minimum wage. Many of these workers are homeless and battling drug and alcohol addictions. Several organizations are conducting research and organizing to protect day laborers, among them the Day Labor Research Institute.
The problems facing day laborers have been exacerbated by immigration and the rapid growth of some cities, like
All of this may feel distant from
Monday, November 12, 2007
Come January, Youngstown’s city council will be dominated by new members, though some are not new to local politics. This week on
The primary city council concerns Brown raises are housing, crime, and economic development. He expresses concern about people buying local houses online without understanding the local conditions that create these seeming “bargains,” as well as concern about the quality of life in
Economic development will shape everything else, but it will require us to deal with two issues that most people would prefer to ignore: class and race. We’re facing a class divide in current discussions of development, which focus on bringing high-tech jobs to the region. That’s a great idea, but it won’t necessarily help many who live in the city. The local economy will certainly benefit from growth in the technology sector, but we also need jobs that don’t require specialized skills or high levels of education. We need to think about
Another key issue in economic development is regionalization, and that presents challenges related to race. If we want to create more regional networks, of any kind, we will have to face up to the realities of segregation and racism. We live in one of the most segregated areas in the country, and that’s partially a result of the white flight in the 1950s and 60s. But the problem isn’t just segregation. It’s also about attitudes. A few years ago, at a meeting of local government officials from townships in
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with several local leaders who are working on community development, mostly with a focus on attracting new businesses to
One of the challenges that Brooke and her colleagues face is, ironically, the successful arts history of the area. Because of that, we have several active local community theaters, but they also compete for money, audiences, volunteers, and attention. We saw dramatic evidence of the problem earlier this season when several different theaters put on versions of Beauty and the Beast. No doubt, all were good productions, but I’d bet that none got as large an audience as it might have if it were the only production of that show. There may be similar overlaps among visual arts venues. I think the music community does a better job of coordinating its activities, perhaps because of overlaps of personnel and management in both popular and classical music.
We need the arts to ensure a vibrant future for the