A letter writer opined that the NGA belonged to North City as a way to fight poverty as espoused in the Bible. Space does not permit a discussion on the etiology of poverty, but suffice to say, causes are many, including loss of the traditional family structure; loss of solid manufacturing jobs and decline in city services including policing, not removing derelict structures and placing the mentally ill on the streets.
The reality is North City will not benefit long-term from the NGA as the current work force will simply move from one location to another. Even service-related jobs within the complex will require security background checks, which require a criminal- and drug-free history. There will be a temporary bump in work due to the construction, but this will require skilled union labor. Even minority business set-asides will not be enough to “lift the area out of poverty.”
If we want to fight poverty, we need to improve education, work on the family structure and reduce crime through effective policing and improve the infrastructure. It would be better to have light manufacturing paying at least $12 an hour employing local residents with on-site affordable day care to lift single parents and families out of poverty. The city and East-West Gateway Council is a more appropriate channel to attract manufacturing in the area. The NGA is not the right long-term answer to fight poverty. Ask yourself this: Has the current NGA reduced crime, provided good housing and improved education?
Phil Henning, Smithton
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