[OP-ED]: Poverty In Philly But Trump Pushes Putrid Policies
For Philadelphia filmmaker Gilberto Gonzales the mere mention of the name Donald Trump unleashes an inferno of verbal fire citing failures of the President coast to coast on issues of import to Latinos from Trump’s readiness to squander millions on building that border wall to Trump’s “mishandling” of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
This story appeared in the November 22, 2017 issue of AL DÍA
“People are dying in hospitals there because there is no electricity,” artist/designer Gonzales said about FEMA “failures” in Puerto Rico during a recent interview where he described sending money to relatives there to help them purchase supplies because federal aid “is not getting to them.”
Yes, much blame for the exacerbation of multiple miseries around America rightly resides in Trump’s callous ineptitude.
However, don’t blame Trump for findings in a study released last week that placed Puerto Ricans at the bottom of Philadelphia’s economic pile.
An astounding 67 percent of Philadelphians of Puerto Rican ancestry live in poverty according to that study released by PEW’s Philadelphia Research Initiative. This study also contained other sad statistics like the racial group with the largest poverty levels in Philadelphia – 37.9 percent – Latinos. Almost half of Latino children in Philadelphia live in poverty.
Trump policies from deep budget cuts in social service spending to the wealthy-benefiting tax code changes Republicans are ramming through Congress will definitely worsen Philadelphia’s poverty rate – the largest for brown and black people among America’s largest cities.
Trump’s persistent verbal insults and increasing assaultive policies are reasons why Gonzales and others feel it is inappropriate for a Trump supporter to head a vital community service agency like Congreso de Latinos Unidos.
Gonzales is among those who demand the resignation of Trump supporter and Congreso CEO, Carolina Cabrera-DiGiorgio.
“Trump has given voice to racism and racists and this CEO has not taken a stance against any of Trump’s policies. How can she speak for us when she does not speak out for us?” Gonzales said.
Cabrera-DiGiorgio has declared her personal politics do not impact her work.
While Cabrera-DiGiorgio did not respond to requests for comment, Calvin Tucker, a Trump supporter, eagerly stated his belief that the President “is moving in the right direction” on economic and domestic issues, fulfilling campaign pledges.
Tucker heads the Pennsylvania Black Republican Council, an entity in the state’s GOP apparatus where the chairman of Pa’s Republican Party is Val DiGiorgio, the husband of Congreso’s CEO.
Tucker works for a West Philadelphia community based organization that provides economic development assistance and financial resources, programs that could take heavy hits from Trump budget proposals. Planned cuts in the federal Community Development Block Grant program could cost Philadelphia nearly $40-million in federal funding according to some projections. But Tucker is not fazed.
“I support access. But we have to talk about what is effective across the board. Should we depend on federal assistance to address poverty and unemployment?” Tucker said.
Tucker said he does not see the divisiveness that many attribute to Trump – the Prez who apparently does not see Philadelphia children languishing in poverty.