(Brooklyn, NY) Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy will be defined by his victories and his failures. One of his major failures can best be illustrated by his lack of investment and focus on issues affecting urban youth. Black and Latino young men represent the most disaffected and disconnected constituency in the City.
Despite repeated warnings by members of the City Council, leaders and organizations… crying out in the wilderness of central Brooklyn and other urban settings urging investment; who for too long have been dependent primarily upon religious and civic volunteers and their individual small donations – the Mayor is finally showing up late to the carnage.
The mountain of disparity has consistently been dangerously trending upward. And unfortunately, the Bloomberg administration’s response has often been short-sighted, and more focused on policing youth. Bloomberg’s stop and-frisk policy has led to the systematic humiliation and harassment of Black and Latino residents who are innocent of any wrongdoing. That response was a band aide approach to deep structural inequities.
I applaud the Mayor; I guess this initiative is better late than never. But, it does appear to look like a major ‘mea culpa’ in the final leg of his term, as he finally turns his attention (and vast wealth) to probably the most marginalized and historically ignored group of individuals, who truly needed it, and could have benefited early on from his philanthropy and administration the most.