April 30, 2015
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By Dr. Andrew Calhoun, Ed.D. Special to the Milwaukee Times

Built to last

Every urban city can be identified as and called “a tale of two cities.” On one side is a tale of a city where residents are doing well, businesses are thriving; Main Street is looking good, there are healthy neighborhoods, safe streets, great restaurants and plenty of entertainment. However, on the other side is a tale of a city where residents are living below the poverty line, unemployed, homeless, surviving on social services and are a permanent underclass. Throughout America’s history the growth and expansion of urban cities continue to be the key cornerstone to ongoing economic growth for a region and state. These centers of economic growth are seen as hubs of influence, unique blending of cultures and a great place in which to live, work and play. In another twist, these urban cities are also places in which many residents struggle to find af- fordable housing; deal with stop-and-frisk, limited access to quality health care, no liv- able wage employment, high crime, and local confused politics and where some lives don’t matter. In the view of many, civic, business and industry leaders want to promote what is “positive” about the city and what it has to offer, rather than what is “wrong.” There is always a need to put our “best foot” forward and that is understandable. Present- ing what is happening and going well in the city is just a part of a larger narrative of how to keep new business coming and that keeps the economic growth wheel turning. Any “bad” news or too much of it helps create another image of the city and may become a reason why a conference, new startup or company expansion does not occur. No matter how things go and what happens, Urban America is not going anywhere. Over time, the characters have changed, but urban America has always been and will continue to be a place in which improvement is always possible. For all its uniqueness, fascination and creativity and a “tale of two cities,” Urban America remains a place in our heart with its success stories, waste, pain and hope. The greatest question for us in this new age and for this new generation is how can we help bring about the change we so desperately seek? How can we help all residents in urban America feel a sense of value? Are there any quick fix solutions to the multifaceted problems in urban America? Are peo- ple willing to come together to address various problems? The answer to these and other questions is still out… and we will see. What do you think? Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at andrewiiicalhoun@ gmail.com, Twitter #AC53, and Facebook. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee 414-265-5546. The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Com- munication, its staff or man- agement. “Rebuilding Our Community” is a weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.