Saturday, June 14, 2008

Community life

Very interesting article in this month's Atlantic Monthly titled "American Murder Mystery".

Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country. Eventually, they thought, they’d find other researchers who connected the dots the way they had, and then maybe they could get city leaders, and even national leaders, to listen.
And they did find others connecting the dots which revealed very similar patterns between crime and Section 8 housing. They haven't yet gotten the ear of Memphis officials other than the police. Obviously, the answer isn't just getting people out of bad neighborhoods into 'good' ones. Community or family seems to be a significant part of the equation. As some of us know, you don't get to pick your relatives. Being able to choose a better 'family' can be life saving.

Maybe the new Memphis Superintendent of Schools can include some of this information as he attempts to create sunshine on the mighty bluffs of Tennessee.

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