Thursday, March 31, 2011
Ward 8 Unemployment/ Marion Barry
It is I again with another entry. I have a lot to blog about so I will be doing separate entries. This first blog concerns the unemployment rate in ward 8 in Washington, D.C. I did a blog on this exact issue last year. It's sad to see little to no progress on putting ward 8 to work. As stated in the Biz Journal today ward 8 has the nation's highest unemployment rate of any US metropolitan area. A lot of this is attributed to the fact that most new jobs in DC require higher education. The other issue is ward 8 has a slew of people who are fresh from incarceration, which hurts the chances of employment.
Ward 8 according to the latest census numbers has 70,000 residents. They are represented in the city legislature by the "mayor for life" Marion Barry. Barry is historically known for speaking out for the underserved in the city. However as a resident, I feel like not much has been done in the last two years to benefit the residents. Barry has a legacy in the city from serving two terms as mayor to being the first to propose many programs over his 30 years in DC Government. Why hasn't Barry been effective in lowering the unemployment issue in the ward? Clearly there are feasible, cost friendly, effective ways of tackling this issue. As we know, unemployment creates crime, which creates a host of issues that could affect a quickly gentrifying place. When we see Barry in the news, it is always about him not paying taxes, stalking some woman, not paying car tickets, talking on his cell phone during public hearings, driving with no registration, or having his car booted. He is a PUBLIC SERVANT and we need to hold our elected officials accountable. NO ONE is above the law. Who and why does he keep getting elected? Barry has a following of seniors in ward 8 who remember the "glory days" of Marion Barry. Clearly and unfortunately those days are lover.
There is a small growing movement of young people in the ward who want change. Many of us are tired of the embarrassment that we have representing us in the city council. When we start to making changes from the top down, then we can work on fixing the unemployment rate in ward 8.