Rebuilding – From the Bottom Up

Are you prepared for the Results if we don’t think in terms of regenerating Small Business Ownership?  The variables involved are many….

We should be looking far and beyond just ‘Big Box” Industry, and think in terms of how do we develop local entrepreneurship along with looking for Anchor stores. But to saturate the area with Wal-Mart, we have not learned our lesson. Wal-Mart produces a mass of employees, who are mandated because of “LOW PAY” to require public assistance, just to make ends meet. We have no leaders or general public who can stand and demand that Walmart pays a living wage, because some position in our cities employment areas do not pay a living wage to move people above poverty, unless they are part of the actual administration appointments. so the city does not set a standard to even began to have a conversation about wage improvement with places like Walmart. Walmart executive know this, and they seize upon the options to surround us and bleed us, because our administrators are unaware.

Walmart knows these administrators don’t even have a clue to be aware of this. What Walmart see’s is a city full of “Fast Food Establishments” and “Dollar Stores”, ALL well know for being LOW WAGE PROVIDERS. Walmart does not go where people make median income and above on average, they know there is no way they can get close to people in that median and above income range, so their aim is to build in the low wage areas, and target areas on the fringe of falling, so they rush in and within a short period of time, all the struggling small business close shop and Walmart becomes there only option.

So Walmart loves uneducated places, because it can get the city, parish and state to pick up the expense via public assistance for what it takes for employees to maintain basic home and function.

They Prey on Us and we are unaware to even see it. Walmart wants to sell to the citizens low cost pharmacy product, but why aren’t these provided to its own employees as part of a benefit package? Instead, people have to go to LSU or seek out some other means to get limited emergency care. They can’t go and get decent loans for vehicles, because their income is low, so they get stuck with high interest rates, and often within the course of months, results demonstrate they are forced to go to one of the 100’s of payday loan place just to cover expense, all the while getting trapped in this blood sucking cycle.

We have an OBESE society, and both cities are rated at the bottom when it comes to individual health, but all we see building up is a mass of “Fast Food Joints”. Over time, this cost us in health related issues far beyond what we can currently acknowledge.

Look at some our losses.
When Cyber Command was considering its location, WHY were we by passed? some of it may be political, but we have no one in the political arena to fight, and they have nothing of contributory modeling to fight with. We don’t have a Tech Community, we don’t even have stores that specialize in Tech and Tech components for the creative builders.
But we never considered things like “Fry’s Electronics”, or other Tech related establishments. We don’t have any marquee schools that focus on “tech training” establishments, “tech research and development programming”. But we have “previously closed schools, that are IDEAL for these development. but we let them sit empty and boarded up and waiting to deteriorate, or for some Church to want to turn it into yet another Church.

Currently – Wal-Mart has SURROUNDED “BOTH” OF THESE CITIES and in Walmart Executive eyes, its the prime location to CAPTURE the entire population. We are blind to being seized upon. What results when Walmart expands, everything around it results to become closed, out of business, and the whole community began to decline.

I’ve often wondered why the two cities don’t collaborate. Even they are in different Parishes, it would seem the Mayor’s and Councils on both sides would have some type of “relationship”.

I think there is something to learned from both sides by the other. Shreveport certainly could learn from Bossier about “investment and get a better concept of how to embrace the debt needed for growth”. I think Bossier can learn some things from Shreveport, about how to deal with expanding diversity, not just with people but, how land use development and connecting communities. Bossier seems to be so spread out, they build communities, but they don’t seem to have as much connectivity. Shreveport Police may want to collaborate with Bossier Police- to share their ideas on diminishing crime on both sides of the river (all types of crime)

One thing for sure, the concept of Bossier being seen as a “white city” and “Shreveport being seen as a “black city” is something both Mayor’s and Councils of each respective city, need to develop a mutual campaign to squash that imagery. Both Cities should by now have learned the old time process of ‘white flight” is not working and will not work, to build a progressive city. when that concept is pursued, all it does it shift resources from one area to the next, and leave devastation in the wake, making for a checker board mess. with nothing more than aims to go further into the wilderness areas trying to create these fantasies, only to find in 5-10 yrs it did not work….. and start repeating the cycle over and over and over every 5-10 yrs.
then wonder why there is not good equitable growth in property values across the board. In fact, all the cities result to do is lower their own property tax income base as the white flight takes business and everything else with it, and the result is a declined area.

What people don’t get, is when the aims at white flight happens, the decision makers, move further out, once they do, they will not pass policy,or legislation or budget programming, to benefit the whole, they shift all policy focus and legislative measures and budget programming from one area to the next, leaving a mess in the wake.

HOW MANY MORE DECADES OF THIS PROCESS WILL IT TAKE BEFORE PEOPLE LEARN- THAT TYPE OF PLAN RESULTS TO DESTROY CITIES AS A WHOLE. It becomes a deterrent to attracting industry, commercial growth and many other things, and when corporations see the “checkerboard mess”, they plan to avoid the area because they know it will prove to be nothing more than a Human Resources nightmare. It perpetuates to the outside world, that we are still “The Old Segregated South”… No one wants to bring big investment into that kind of environment.

We don’t attract young people, all we attract is “retirement age people” trying to recapture what they think they had in the 1950’s and 1960’s. and some choose not to come, because they don’t want any part of what existed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Young people can’t stand the thought of moving to anything that resembles “The Old Segregated South”. Therefore young enterprising people simply don’t come. We don’t even get foreigners with big money to invest to even consider our area. They want no part of it. based on the folklore concept they have learned of “The Old Segregated South”.
Over all, it hurts the concept of both cities.
We have maybe close to 300k people between the both cities and their immediate rural outlay. we should be able to build a connected relation between both cities and have a progressive environment.

We should have “TECH SCHOOLS” OF EVERY TYPE ALL OVER THE AREAS, to promote our young people as a skilled population. but we have not figured it out. so we have a mass of young delinquency, both white and black, on both sides of the river. Unsure what to do, how to do and not prominent array of options to choose from. If its not “nursing”, they are at an absolute loss if nursing is not their main interest.
But the older people in charge, can’t see it, because it is not something that was in their environment when they were young. Then we’ve got, “Clergy” on both sides of the river that won’t support anything if they can’t get their name on the marquee and be at the head of the leadership of getting something done.

I’m sure within a full review there are many things both can learn from each other. It might even be good if they mutually learn how to “clean up and develop the river banks on both sides”

It’s an eye sore going to Bossier looking at all the air-conditioning units on top of the facility to the left. and coming to Shreveport, one has to look at the old building with the side of the wall which collapsed during a storm, (how many years ago). The Traffic light coming into Shreveport needs adjusting or something, and there needs to be a left hand turn arrow on Market Street going South.

Texas Street needs a lot of work in Bossier, once you pass the turn point to go to the Casino or the Movie Plex. It has terrible curb appeal all the way down to Benton Rd. It’s “looks like” being in the middle of some Small Midwestern Town that has been forgotten for decades. What a terrible appearance for the entry into a city.
Coming to the Shreveport area from Bossier, it’s a disaster that Shreveport has not been able to fill the buildings along Texas St. Thought there is some progress as you near the Big Church at the end of Texas.
It’s a shame the “Slattery Building” just sits there deteriorating daily. the mess under the sides of the bridge on both sides is a flat out “shame”, to sit there looking like they do, with no concept of a plan to do anything with it.

The changes it will take to change these things may not be forth coming. It takes people with robust ideas to craft the means to make these changes. There is a great deal of “APATHY”, on both sides of the river, because neither side has any concept of plans about how to embrace the youth culture and get them involved in developing change. All the “OLD HEADS” on both sides, want to retain power and position, and will defeat anything to keep their name recognition even if it means grid-locking progress.

At the rate things are going under the Walmart Plan –Walmart may not only be the neighbor, it may well command what results into the declining of the neighborhood.

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