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Jerry Brown's Budget to Reshape Government is Short-sighted

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I wrote a few weeks ago about the governor’s budget and its potential impact on Black California with our double digit unemployment and under performing schools in our community. Well I decided to look at his proposal to reshape government; of taking the tax subsides for development and cutting millions of dollars used by cities in selected enterprise zones that eliminates blight and increases employment. While this approach might help Sacramento it will create havoc in local government by taking away the one tool that can help turn any city around.

Since I do not talk that much over the phone I had my wife call Mayor Ron Loveridge of Riverside and ask him what will the impact be if the redevelopment proposal submitted by the governor is implemented. His response was cities like Riverside have done a lot to eliminate blight and create small businesses on University Ave. from UCR all the way downtown. Just several years ago citizens were complaining about the panhandlers and empty property on this major street. It has added over 300 jobs, $4 billion in business revenue and $2 million in sales tax to the city. These are things we could nothave done without the tools of redevelopment. Loveridge went on to say that all of the cities in Riverside County are in opposition to this idea and will fight the governor on it.

In the City of San Bernardino the response was similar according to Chief of Staff Jim Morris on behalf of the mayor.

It is my opinion based on the history of redevelopment in the Inland Empire, that it is short sighted for the governor to seek this as a way to reshape our government. The one thing I would suggest to cities is take a look at how to get small businesses that benefit from redevelopment to employee more youth. I would even suggest that a employment program for youth be developed so youth will know what is required of them once employed. Things like getting to work on time, workplace decorum, proper dress, confidentiality and following supervisors directions. This is one area the local government can do better than anyone else to reduce the high unemployment rate of 16 to 24 year olds in their cities.

Let me suggest that the Inland Empire cities come together and form some kind of joint sharing or powers agreement on redevelopment to fight this proposal. This is one issue where unity of purpose for everyone is better than going solo.

A Close Family Friend Madeleine Seymour Passed Last Week

Mrs. Seymour a family friend, mother of my wife’s best friend Charlotte Hall, grandmother of our god child Pastor Wade Forde of Perris 7th Day Adventist Church and wife of Charlie Seymour passed away suddenly. She was more than a friend she was family.

Reflecting back on the family and the 16th Street SDA Church relationship dates back to 1961 when the first church I visited when I came to California was then K Street SDA Church down on 8th and K Street. My friend Joe Jacquet invited me there one Saturday after church service. Mrs. Seymour came later and began writing a weekly column in the Black Voice News and other Black owned media in San Bernardino. She became an artist in words by describing the events of the church and its people. She was their ambassador of goodwill into the community that made an impact on community events. Let me cite one example: The S.B. Black History Parade in February used to begin on 17th and Medical Center Drive and church. When the parade committee heard concerns from the members of the church about the disruption from noise the committee was reluctant at first to change the route until someone reminded them Mrs. Seymour was a member of the church.

Mrs. Seymour was perceived as a quiet lady but she could hold her own especially with her husband, who has enough mouth for a lot of people. As a wife and mother the 31st chapter of proverbs beginning at verse 10 comes to mind. “A wife of noble character.” “Her husband has full confidence in her”. That is one of the reasons Mr. Seymour could do and say some of the thing she did, there was no doubt in his mind that Madeleine had his back. She always had him covered in anything he wanted to do. “She brought him good not harm.” Not many men can find that in a helpmate.” “She opened her arms to the poor and her hands to the needy”, which is evident when you look at her life of service to the children she educated as a teacher, the service to her church and most of all her extended family members. “She speaks with wisdom and her children arise and call her blessed”.

Many women do noble things but you Mrs. Seymour were one of the few that I have known surpass them all.

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