Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long-term solution: Attracting a new generation of middle class

When I posted a link to the FB page regarding JP's post on Captain Hardtime's suffering through difficult times in this economy this comment from one of our commenters was posted there:
I have always been adament about supporting people I know in business or buying locally whenever possible. Unfortunately many do not. Captain Hard Times is a nice establishment. I visited Yonnis after the Pancake House moved to 183rd and ...the service and food were not good. The first thing most restaurants do in difficult times is to cut quality to save. Quality Food is the last thing which should be cut at a restaurant. I spoke with someone there who explained the financial woes. Some solutions - Long term residents have to realize the community is changing, The population is aging, their children moved to the South Suburbs, my generation of the black middle class who have chosen urban living will not stay if our homes continue to be burglarized and do not have to deal with the elitism at some community groups, the subsidized housing holders moving to Chatham will become the new Chatham and may be the only market if an influx of middle class does not move in. Attracting more middle class residents is a long term solution. Perhaps delivering and broadening the customer base will help.
She sees a neighborhood in transition and she still wasn't done:
Another possible solution for the transitioning neighborhood dilema - Our Seniors have a wealth of experience and humility due to more humbled beginnings - they are the group troubled youth - many of whom have been raised by Grandparents ...and behind all of the devilment have a core instilled by those Grandparents. Those of the Civil Rights era who are now Grandparents are a generation who were called for many things, but we need you once again for our troubled youth. I believe they will listen. Sometimes the teacher needs to appear as the student - Something as simple as a tech day - youth teaching seniors facebook will create an opportunity to bond.
JP likes to mention that at Mather's on 83rd Street they will have computer literacy classes there. In fact in the two times that I have been there right next to the dining room there is a computer lab where we have seen classes commence during the day. Perhaps we can supplement that in our neighborhood schools as well, perhaps for community service credits our students can conduct them. Even if they're not intending to go into the technology fields.

A lot of our young people know how to use the various tools that we find on the internet these days. Whether we're talking about Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, or even Facebook.

As for the neighborhood in transition, well we have lot of work to do on that. Wait for post on one idea to do this. It's only an idea, but something that would give Chatham a certain vitality. At that one idea to bring in younger residents and hopefully they won't consider the suburbs an option.


  1. In my opinion, the main problem in attracting middle class residents is simply the ECONOMY!!

    A lot of middle class people (who haven't lost their homes to foreclosure) can't/won't move and are staying put where they are because they simply cannot afford to or are scared to move during these very uncertain economic times.

    Most middle class people I know are trying very hard to maintain what they have, because they don't know from one week to the next if they'll have a job and have been cutting back on things such as dining out and shopping because of the economic uncertainty.

    The question that needs to be asked is, "In this time of economic uncertainty-- what can we do to encourage economic reciprocity with our local businesses"...

  2. We had a post last October This program 3/50 simply ask the community to spend $50 a month with 3 businesses. Understanding that this might be out range from some I just say find 3 businesses in our community and spend what yur budget can affordith them each month.


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