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Monday, February 23, 2009

Can You Say Stimulus?

Money is coming down the pike. Get people back to work. Take on infrastructure projects to repair roads and bridges. Build a green energy economy with weatherization of homes, new technology, and more. Our President is serious about getting the economy back on track, helping homeowners, and getting people employed. How will Camden fare?

Camden is the poster city for needed economic recovery. Unemployed - check. Foreclosures and abandoned housing - check. Closed factories - check. Crumbling infrastructure - check (including wooden sewer pipes). Schools that need help - check. We have it all. And we have people that want to work, but don't have skills. We have people that want to open a business, but have no capital. We have students that want to learn, but are in schools that are not educating. We have an abundance of housing - and much of it is crumbling. We have a bit to work with, but need much help to jumpstart new strategies.

It would be fantastic if Camden could become the epicenter for green technology. What better place than Camden - a city that is a brownfield - to go green.

It would be amazing if Camden became a demonstration city for new urban renewal that builds on neighborhoods and residents to bring back community and the economy. Crime would fall.

It would be startling if Camden received stimulus funding and it actually made it to the people in need and wasn't skimmed by law firms, politicians, and others who demand their cut.

What is our COO saying about money coming to Camden? What is the City Council saying and the Mayor saying about stimulus funding? Will the community be brought into the discussion? Who is leading?

Urban revitalization suggestion #4: Camden needs an inclusive strategy to wisely spend the stimulus money to maximize its impact. This approach requires leadership, vision, and an understanding of what will likely succeed based on knowledge of the expectations of the residents and businesses of Camden.

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