Plan to instill more reliance on government just about ready in Savannah

Comrade Mayor Otis Johnson down in Savannah is pleased to introduce yet another level of government intervention…now everything will be fixed!

A plan to provide comprehensive cradle to college support and services in Savannah’s chronically low-income areas will be presented at Mayor Otis Johnson’s Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Savannah Civic Center.

The Savannah-Chatham Youth Futures Authority is heading the effort to qualify for one of 20 Promise Neighborhood planning grants pledged by President Barack Obama.

Emphasis mine. Details here. It’s all based on this proposal from POTUS:

Obama and Biden will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provides a full network of services, including early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college.

Now if Mayor Johnson could just tell us what kinds of food to eat. Wait, that’s making it’s way down the pike, too. Nothing to worry about now for the rest of our lives! Behold the awesome power of government: the state-legislated Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority (where the Mayor used to be Executive Director)…what would we do without ’em!


  1. ByteMe says:

    And your problem with replicating the outstanding success of Harlem Children’s Zone in an impoverished area of Savannah is…?

    • polisavvy says:

      This is now twice we have agreed in one day. After reading about the implementation and success of the Harlem Children’s Zone, I found it to be a very successful program. If Savannah’s program is as successful, then it is worth the effort. I wish them all the best in this endeavor and hope that it’s a success for the children.

  2. ZazaPachulia says:

    Let me get this straight, Pete…

    You’re saying this whole thing should be dumped in favor of what? School vouchers so that the few existing high outliers in this Savannah neighborhood can go to Catholic school?

    The old small business adage we conservatives stick to is, “you’ve got to spend money to make money.” To fix the canyon-wide economic and achievement gap in Savannah, you’ve got to invest in the short term. The status quo has failed for generations…

    What is the real alternative here?

    On one hand, you can have several more generations impoverished Savannah residents completely dependent on government welfare, or on the other hand you can try something innovative that has worked elsewhere (i.e. the Harlem Children’s Zone) and roll out a new generation primed for success in the free market economy.

    This is a no-brainer. We’re going to have to spend some money with a priority on innovation if Georgia is ever going to get anywhere in education. Charter school support and an emphasis on innovation in education is one of the few areas where the Obama team is actually right.

  3. dewberry says:

    30 plus years of trying to accomplish the same thing in Savannah. Model Cities, The Casey Foundation programs, Youth Futures, other city, state, fed financed programs and everything between have/had the same goals. This endeavor continues after spending millions over the last 30 years and accomplishing nothing. Millions to reduce teen pregnancy yet the rate increased. Name the ill and you can be sure that millions of dollars have been thrown at it over and over again throughout the past 3 decades. Many folks have prospered handsomely administering these multimillion dollar efforts to get people out of poverty or get a step up. When have you heard of programs winding down because of their success? This is a make work effort. This will be another sugar high for the consumers and politicians and easy money for the unproductive social engineers. The failure of such programs in the past only ensured the next failing million dollar program. Easy money success through failure.

      • dewberry says:

        I was not clear. I believe the “blueprint” is to make work. The title of this entry might be missleading. Because this isn’t anything new “Reliance on government to continue in Savannah” is a more appropriate title. The folks who really really rely on such programs are the program administrators and workers. The plan is to keep the money coming in. It is the economy of finance and politics in Savannah.

  4. aquaman says:

    The much heralded “Harlem Rebirth” was driven not so much by government programs but rather by gentrification. The population fell by about half and billions of private dollars poured in to restore existing brownstones and the like for housing in the very expensive NY market. The private investment led to cleaner streets, additional police protection, and new retail, etc… and educational programs. Would the Harlem Children’s Zone have succeeded without the real estate boon?

    • ByteMe says:

      Rich people don’t move into junky areas without an incentive. The private investment that came first was local corporations — of which there are a lot in NYC — looking to do some good. That going to happen in Savannah? Probably not without some kind of government assistance.

      • polisavvy says:

        You know, Byte, I wonder if people will understand that IF you are able to fix the problems that those neighborhoods encounter (i.e., the children not being properly educated), then perhaps you could help with the number of children who go astray and therefore need less money allocated for jails and prisons. At the end of the day, it is probably cheaper to educate these children than pay for incarcerated adults later. Plus, who knows; but, there is a possibility that some brilliant minds are there just waiting for the motivation and encouragement to succeed. Just my personal opinion to the whole thing.

  5. aquaman says:

    The incentive was cheap real estate. The question remains; does this kind of program work without fundamentally changing the neighborhood? I submit that cleaning the street for someone who has been willing to walk through the trash for years is completely different than cleaning the street for a property owner that demands it.

    • ByteMe says:

      If the incentive was cheap real estate, why didn’t people move in there earlier than when HCZ started? It’s not like real estate in Harlem has ever been all that expensive.

      It’s because the HCZ started taking the neighborhood over block by block and making it safe for the rich folks to move in. Rich folks — even middle class folks — don’t move into dangerous dirty areas just because of cheap real estate. Your supposition is faulty.

  6. Republican Lady says:

    Looks like Sandy Springs is jumping on the Savannah bandwagon. The mayor has determined a stretch of Roswell Road looks like a slum area and is applying for federal funds.

  7. aquaman says:

    Read up on the subject before passing judgment on my “supposition”. Thinking that a government program transformed Harlem is a liberal wet dream.

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