Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lumpkin upset over funds pulled by Mayor

by Kenneth Lumpkin

I openly apologize to the members of Racine's inner-city for the loss of funds that would have improved the Flat Iron Mall for public use and other programs that would have helped unwed teen mothers and recovering drug addicts.
The removal of the $50,000 that had been set aside for the Flat Iron Mall on Douglas Avenue, $20,000 for the Foundation of Life nonprofit organization and $15,000 for Project New Life Nehemiah program was direct retaliation for my criticism of our new Mayor John Dickert. In the Insider News, as well as publicly, I have strongly suggested that the mayor and his selective cronies are anti-growth and improvement of the inner-city.

The first example is his capping of the multi-million dollar Corrine Owens Project that would have led to jobs and drastic improvement to the State Street corridor near the transportation center. Then in an effort to make community folks happy, he formed a committee to name something after Corrine Owens, anything, and as quick as possible. Now the Mayor wants $5,000 more for a plaque to mark the Underground Railroad in Racine. How many jobs will these appeasements generate for African Americans that are number two on the list as the highest unemployed in the state.

The next example of his anti-growth and improvement of the central city is his vote to remove $50,000 from the nonprofit Flat Iron Mall which serves as an incubator for primarily African-American and Hispanic businesses. In addition, the mall is frequently used by Hispanics and African-Americans to host weddings, anniversaries, and baptism events. It is estimated that the mall is visited by over 100,000 people annually. It is the central point of development needed in this city plan to revitalize Douglas Avenue as a gateway to downtown Racine.

What also is surprising is the lack of support by Ald. Jim Kaplan who is alderman for the district where the Flat Iron Mall is located. Each of the three projects that the CDBG Committee originally funds were snatched from being funded and they are programs and projects that I have close ties to and have openly suppored. What upsets me the most is the Mayor's willingness to punish a large segment of the minority community in order to put me on notice that I am to keep my mouth shut about his lack of support for the needs of the minority community.

I wonder if Dickert's cuts are a part of his invisible ten-year plan.


Anonymous said...

I am very sad at the turn of events.
Could this have anything to do with Dickert owing big favors to the White part of the Democratic party?

Urban Pioneer said...

I am actually surprised to hear that anyone is still using the Flat Iron Mall for any reason at all. It's time has come and gone. Tear it down. It would also be a good idea to carefully look at many things along the Douglas corridor. As for weddings and events perhaps we can make a more favorable arrangement with the Festival hall for those events. Cleaner newer and on the Lake. Not to mention all of the private places to hold events.

Mis-Spending all of this "Govt." Money is a bad idea whether it's Flat Iron Mall or a plaque, or any other Special interest project with strings attached.

On the other hand if Mr. Lumpkin or Mr. Dickert or anyone else wants to INVEST their OWN money into any of these ventures..I fully support it!! Mis-use of Other People's Money is wasteful and inefficient.

Anonymous said...

Urban Pioneer, RCEDC, City Hall, Downtown Racine Corporation, CATI are by and large the biggest wasters of taxpayer's money.

Flat Iron Mall is used way more the CATI ever has. How has CATI benefitted the residents of Racine?

Why haven't you brought them to task?