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Some folks can f**k up cornflakes. The irony of local politicians working feverishly to close the deal on the new Vikings stadium should let residents of Minneapolis know local politician only care to work with those who have money and power. The thought of solving unemployment, youth violence and the continuing lack of an educated community sits on the back burner.
Fast Tube by Casper
By Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/The Independent Business News Network
A story in Forbes Magazine, “Vikings Stadium Not Likely To Help Minnesota’s Economy,” tells the truth on local zealous politicians who blatantly lie to citizens about how the Vikings stadium will increase jobs and economic development for the area. The article by Mike Ozanian, Forbes Staff -(Traffic cop at the intersection of money and sports) says, “Those touting the positive economics of the new stadium appear to be looking at history through rose colored glasses and seem to be ignoring the impact past stadiums have had on businesses and taxpayers. The upshot from UBS: “Independent academic research studies consistently conclude that new stadiums and arenas have no measurable effect on the level of real income or employment in the metropolitan areas in which they are located. Feasibility studies for professional sports facilities often fail to account for the substitution effect. Individuals generally maintain a consistent level of entertainment spending so money spent on sporting events typically comes at the expense of cash spent in restaurants, on travel, and at movie theaters.”
Now we also have to look at how the dog and pony show works in Minneapolis, especially in the Black community.
I’ll show you how things work for Blacks in Minneapolis.
Example #1: In 2010, the Minneapolis Urban League was awarded a grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation of $150,000.00. In a report from MPR titled, “MnDOT grant to help minorities get construction work”, it went on to say, “Minneapolis Urban League CEO Scott Gray said some of the money would be used to bring together construction company owners, union officials and community groups to set a hiring goal for the 2011 construction season. Gray said some of the money would also be used to subsidize training costs.”
Gray said the training program would be modeled after one in Milwaukee. (Hey, I don’t make this stuff up – read the full story here on Minnesota Public Radio’s website).
It’s 2012; personally I’ve been waiting for a chance to see the Milwaukee model and the report on how many jobs the MUL engaged community members with. It’s sad to say, but if you’re the president of a Black flagship organization and you’ve cut staff pay and hours – how is it possible to use minimal grant like $150,000.00 to create anything – and if you did, where’s it at? Why is unemployment the worse in the city within a one-mile radius of your operation?
This is one of the many “standard operating procedures” for Blacks; by Blacks; in the Black community – commonly known as “puffery.”
Those of us that understand business, we understand that the undertaking of job creation; cordial and diplomatic relations with state prime contractors is a multimillion dollar operation yearly. More importantly, you need to know the players or be a quick study.
Are you following me yet?
Just think; if Governor Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and State Representative Bobby Joe Champion (Champion, who represents the poorest district in Minnesota) worked as hard on changing the dynamics of poverty, unemployment, crime and murders as they worked on securing a deal for the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings facility, Minneapolis might have a different future.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m crazy about some Minnesota Vikings. Sports teams in a city like Minneapolis bring people from all across the country to our city to see the superficial make up along with all the pomp and circumstance that some call Minnesota Nice. But for those of us who live here day-to-day, we know the challenges, the issues and how easy it is for those important issues to be overlooked by politicians who have their own agenda, separate and unequal from the individual voters who put them in office on blind faith.
Now, for the sake of continuity and the talk of “new jobs,” lets take a look at TCF Stadium and the Minnesota’s Twins Target Field. When we hear of community spokespersons talking about new jobs, we must question the integrity of said spokesperson and ask them how do they define a job.
A job is a responsibility, contribution, appointment, undertaking, assignment, commission, and a connection. It gives an individual a weekly paycheck that he/she deposits in the bank to save, pay bills and on occasion buys things that make us feel good. Ethics teach us its human nature to do what makes you feel good, regardless of virtue or benevolence.
What a job is not: A job is not a limited program administered by a non-profit agency to put the poor and disenfranchised on display to the mainstream.
So now we have a new Vikings stadium in the planning stages to be constructed. There are many union workers that have been sitting on the bench in union halls for years working part time or unemployed – mostly White males. Black unemployment in Minnesota is at an all time high. Is training poor and disenfranchised people of color the answer to job creation? It hasn’t been up to this point. Will the Minnesota Vikings Stadium construction provide jobs for those unemployed and underemployed in the Twin Cities? So far, Target Field and the TCF Stadium have not met the challenge.
The answer to both questions is no. The data shows no job growth for communities affected by high unemployment.
The problem with this picture is much like the two previous mentioned stadiums built and the twenty years the Minnesota Department of Transportation has never had a fair playing field for people of color in the state to work on Minnesota’s bridges, highways and roads. It’s all smoke and mirrors with no real end game except for those who are willing to sell-out their communities for pennies while other play with millions.