Urban communities, political realities

Craig DeLuz is the president and chief executive officer of the Make a Difference Project and publisher of the North Sacramento Union

Politicians always say the issues facing urban communities are important to them, but their actions usually say otherwise. And this is not unique to candidates of either political party. Both have allowed “politics as usual” to impede the revitalization of our urban centers.

Consider that voter turnout in most inner-city neighborhoods is fairly low, and those who do show up at the polls vote largely Democratic. This has made the Democrats complacent. They know that, no matter how bad things get, these communities are unlikely to vote Republican. Therefore, the Democrats don’t have to do anything. They must simply appear to be sympathetic to the plight of the underprivileged and throw out a few government dollars to buy the support of the local poverty pimps (those few community leaders who are supposed to be helping the community but seem to be getting richer while everyone else is getting poorer).

Republicans, on the other hand, believe it is impossible for them to represent these areas. Accordingly, they spend little or no resources to get their candidates elected in urban districts. As a result, no Republicans are elected. In any case, because the GOP doesn’t represent these communities, Republicans tend not to represent the community’s causes. Republicans tend to address the issues that are important to their constituents, generally people in more suburban or rural communities.

But the truth is that all of us, regardless of party, should care about the issues of inner-city communities.

Drug abuse was a problem in urban communities before it was a problem in the rest of our neighborhoods. Teen pregnancy became a major issue in the inner city before the suburbs had to address it. As a matter of fact, just about every ill that society faces became an issue in our urban centers first. And if our politicians weren’t so busy playing politics, they could have dealt with these problems in their infancies.

Being elected has become the primary goal for modern politicians. They’ve forgotten that power is not the prize. The prize is the good that can be done with that power.

Ours is a government of, by and for the people. This means that if politicians are going to address the issues of our most vulnerable communities, it will only be because we the people demand it. As for me, I expect nothing less.